A little more than a year ago, I got the heartbreaking news that my mentor and friend Chic Walker was going into hospice. My body went into a place of shock and I didn't know how to process the news. I wanted to sing it out (Chic was my voice teacher after all), but at the time I had an autistic neighbor who would knock on my door anytime I started making music to tell me to hush. I turned to the only expression I had available to me at the time, which was self-portraiture. It has taken me a while to feel comfortable sharing these images, and sharing the grief that I felt in that moment. Hopefully this can be helpful to someone else who may be going through a moment of intense grief.
I was surprised by the pain.
When he was gone, I felt that I had lost a spiritual guide. I did. But, in the time that has passed since, I've become more aware of the other guides that I have in my life, and especially of the guide that I have inside myself, that sometimes I am afraid of heeding. More often than not I am afraid of listening. But, when I do take the time to listen to where I'm being led, the journey is much richer. And I will never forget the music.