I was 21 years old when I made New York City my home. I thought I was only there for a season or two, but I ended up staying for nearly 2 decades. With each passing year, my former life in California faded away. Out of necessity and a series of synchronistic events, I created a tight-knit family made up of close friends. They supported my wacky art phases, celebrated my accomplishments, and helped me when I was down. They were there for me during the whole journey, no matter what the current juncture or unorthodox path was.
As I look back, it’s hard to believe some of the things that happened. Some really amazing adventures! Some I would be extremely lucky to re-live and others I nauseously cringe just thinking about. There was always something happening, always something to explore, always a new opportunity for growth. No doubt about it, my formative years happened in NYC. Whatever I missed as a youth (and it was a lot!), I had to quickly learn as an adult. I truly am what I am (as a mind/personality/character) because of the corporealizing experiences I had and powerful friendships I participated in during that time.
Out of those friendships, there is like a family-tree hierarchy type order. A better way to describe it is, like a triangle with a select few at the peak. These are the friends that really went to bat for me (I mean really-really, like “are you serious?!” really). The gnarly Mount Everest of friendship! It’s an amazing few that befriended me beyond my wildest dreams — and still do. I’m continuously amazed at the level of loving dedication and outstanding altruism.
I would like to honor one of those friends today. December 4th is the birthday of a very special ‘triangle peak’ friend. My forever soul-friend, Terry. I literally sit here speechless, taking a deep breath, exhaling, unable to express my love for him as a human being. No formation of words would describe or match what I have in my heart. I can only say I feel indebted to him, and I’ve learned so much from him.
…Oh. Wait. I spoke too soon, more words are coming…
I remember telling him that I felt my life was my art, that there wasn’t a need to make tangible art anymore, because my life is my most risky and creative expression. To me, when I think of that statement, it pales next to what I think Terry’s life is. I’m not sure if he would consider it art, but I know for sure he would consider it a celebration. Terry is a walking party! :) He loves people. He loves play. He lives for connection and contribution. He has taught me so much in that regard. You really have to meet him in order to fully grasp what I am trying to express. I’ve seen Terry connect to people in a way that is mind blowing. I don’t mean people that he’s familiar with, I mean absolute strangers. His unwavering generosity and child-like openness is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever seen. I literally watch him interact with people and I stand there in awe.
My life has been interesting, I’ve met some interesting people and lived through some interesting moments. But there are certain people or interactions that feel cosmic or predestined. That’s how I feel about my relationship to Terry. Like some Great Wizard in the sky orchestrated our friendship and placed everything just so. Like our paths were meant to cross and we were meant to influence each other. We were meant to help each other through the decades. I can’t imagine my life without Terry. I also can’t imagine the world without Terry. It would be like a joyous moment without a smile, or a group cheer without a sound. It simply wouldn’t be as fun.