After weeks in a vortex, returning to life as usual will thankfully not be possible. The last twenty-four hours after my good friend Richard Levy took his last breath were sitting in a room with him and his family as we shared stories and memories of happy times.
The word surreal comes to mind as something significant changes in our life and although it is difficult to completely understand, I realize I have moved from memories into the next moment. Singing about and practicing living in the present is not always easy but it offers a sweetness which calms the busy monkey mind and allows a chance to cherish the beauty of being alive.
Richard loved sharing about loving presence and was really good at teaching it, even during the times when he found it difficult to experience. I think that is what we loved about Richard, his authentic, vulnerable and hilarious approach to living a spiritual life. We met many years ago when I did not have any interest in spiritual matters, I thought the concept of God was all bullshit, until I met Maureen and Richard. They were about as real as you can get and it showed me I didn't have to be a certain way to pursue a spiritual understanding.
Returning to my life on the road and sharing my music is a beautiful privilege. Yet it feels like everything will be different, that I am returning to a NEW normal. I think about Richard's last talk and can't help but think about the time when I will sing my last song and share my last concert. These are not sad thoughts but great reminders that each word we speak and each moment we share is a precious time. So as I continue on and return to a new normal, I continue with the strength and convictions taught to me by a spiritual warrior....he lived well, he loved fully, and he learned how to let go. Thank you Richard, you are on top of my list for being an amazing friend.
This photo was taken a few years back at Puako Beach in Hawaii. It is where Richard spent his last days.