Monday, October 12, 2009

All the Best Freaks Are Here

I know I've been absent lately. I've written a dozen posts in my head... no consolation, I know. I just haven't been able to make myself sit down and solidify anything in writing. I've been busy too, designing cards (for actual orders.... YES!), and trying to come up with some marketing ideas.

I've also spent much time watching Autumn come in and enjoying that stirred up feeling I get... that thing inside me that feels like so many leaves swirling in the wind. As I stood on the deck this evening, cold wind stinging tears into my eyes, catching that luxurious scent of autumnal "death"... I whispered, "Where are you taking me this time?" My spirit dances and skitters like a kite.

What's on my mind just now though? My heart is with my dear friend Shelley. I learned today that her father passed away last night. I only got to meet "Skip the Bear" once, three years ago. He was doing a marathon to fund leukemia research. The fascinating thing there is that Skip had actually been fighting leukemia before he did the marathon. I recall the emotion I felt watching him come across the finish line and feeling astounded at the resilience of the human body. (At the time, John had just been diagnosed with his cancer, so my emotions were all over the place anyway.) But, when Shelley finally had a chance to introduce me to her dad, he looked at me in awe, began to weep, pulled me into a hug (you ain't never been hugged 'til you been hugged by The Bear!), and said, "I can't believe you stood around all day for me!" It was an incredibly humbling moment.

That day played on my internal film screen all day today. It was one of those wacky Seattle weather days where we had a whole lot of every kind of weather - wind, rain, sideways rain, sleet, snow. Suffice it to say, it was freezing cold and damp and standing in the stadium for 6 hours was a project in itself. But, that was before Shelley and her hubby moved back here and I had wanted to spend the day hanging with her, so that's what we did. We cheered the runners, tried (unsuccessfully) to stay dry, and made countless trips back and forth between the stands and Starbucks. We talked a bunch, we laughed, we cried. We became all-weather comrades.

Shelley is one of my favorite folks on this planet. We can go months without talking and finally get together and it's like we're picking up a conversation we left off on yesterday. So. Irreverent as it might seem, I'm dedicating this song to Shel. I know she'll understand my intent, and I'll be damned if she's not likely to boogie around her living room while it plays.

Here's to you, Shel... I raise a hearty cup o' bean to that big-hearted, funny man I will always refer to as Skip the Bear.

In my life... well.... all the best freaks are here. Wouldn't want it any other way.

~Freaks, Marillion

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