Monday, January 05, 2015

Beyond The Stop

"All of life is a foreign country" 
-Jack Kerouac

Sometimes, when life gets real quiet, and I take an opaque-skied, icy winter morning drive to work, I think about Dale and Jay. Having never known each other to my knowledge, they both had the same last names of Smith.

Dale was a friend of my brother's and mine and Jay was a guitarist for Matt Mays and a mutual friend of many of my friends - and they are both people who were in my life for a period of time, and who are now gone. Passed. Adiosed. Dale was one of the kindest souls that I ever met. With a wit as quick as a whip and penchant for cinematic trivia, he was always willing to offer a kind word, a heartfelt shoulder nudge and an encouragement amidst his real-world humour. Jay was also a kind man, an all-world guitarist and songwriter, and someone I only really had one conversation with, but who I realized, in the briefest of moments, had an otherworldly mind on him.

I miss them both, in different ways, and I'm still sad about them being gone.

At the ripe ages of 43 and 34, it's sad, sudden and still shocking to this day that they are no longer here - in the same consciousness that you and I inhabit. I wonder about those guys. I wonder about their last thoughts - what they'd hoped for, what filled them with gratitude, and what regrets they clung to in their final moments. It makes me wonder where they are, and what is truly beyond the great stop.

And it is here, tonight, on this cutting January eve that the spirit of Dale came alive, as I was browsing through some old blog entries and found one of his comments that still lives in the annals of cyberspace. In November of 2010 (see my last blog), I decided to take one of the hardest steps I'd ever taken as I didn't like the way my life looked and I was in a rather depressed state. Dale, otherwise known as Fisheye Lens on his blog (who was first encouraged to blog by my brother Adam), took the time to write something affirming and wise on my post in a moment of sincerity. When I found this comment tonight, a few hot tears rolled down my face in the memory of that kind fellow. And I feel okay about that.

"I'm at a similar crossroads in my life -- just trying to sludge my way through it. Keep your head up, Matt."

-Dale Smith (Nov 2010)

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