Monterey, California


I stood beside the grave at the interment of an old friend. For years, the cremated remains had been sitting on a fireplace mantle, and it was time to give them a future. An ice-cold spring breeze blew through our coats as we stood and listened to the minister deliver all the appropriate words, with the sun making brief appearances as if to tease.

Of course, being a recording engineer, which is really what I am, I couldn’t help but hear the construction workers a block away, the swooshing traffic, and a handful of birds chirping sparkles of happiness, all of it exposing the intertwined nature of life and death.

A group of words or a musical phrase sent my mind cruising through memories, but only briefly. With age comes the willingness to attend the moment without wincing. It also exposes the truth that there’s actually not much going on at any given moment. Attending to the details is nothing, a nod of the head, simple eye contact to confirm a connection, and the gentle touch of reassurance.