A deep need of voyages

Buenos Aires — On Saturday we touched down in this city that is – while not my birthplace – my spiritual home. (Fifteen years of my adult life have been spent here and it is, after all, the place that has nurtured me as an artist.) After a slew of rehearsals, we debuted our new show “Nueve Vidas” at the Jazz Voyeur club in Recoleta and for the next three months I will be writing and performing, living and loving so as to break on through once and for all to the “other side.”

It has been two years since I left and in that time I went very, very far away. I had to.

I have a deep need of voyages. The physical voyage is only the catalyst of the emotional voyage that will surely follow. In this eternal cycle the leaving is as important as the returning and, for that matter, the leaving again.

In the end, I came back. Much more than any physical change of place (which after all can be had for the price of a plane ticket), I came back spiritually, ready to embrace what I had shunned for two long years.

I see now that my slow return began nine months ago the day my friend Brian took his life. Since then the specter of death and fragility and an acute awareness of the short window of opportunity we are all given has been hovering over me. I don’t have time to waste on insignificant things.

Those of you who remember Brian (I wrote about him in 2003 soon after we met and again the week he died), will know that for me our friendship was all about missed opportunities. For me it is terribly sad what we missed sharing together and after his death I resolved to not miss any more of those precious opportunities.

It is, I know, a high standard and one I fail at daily… but it keeps me true and focused on reaching for the right things. Most of all it keeps me on the sharp edge of life, remembering always to push forward.

As the new song we composed for the “Nueve Vidas” show says:

Vivir es empezar de nuevo
Morir y ver que no me muero
Saber que lo importante no es llegar sino viajar

Let the next voyage begin.

Other columns I wrote about Brian:
“Searching for the day,” 4 January 2009
“Big guy with earring,” 30 March 2003

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