Tuesday, January 31, 2012
My own "Happy Place"
I miss my friend Howard Hopkins. His sudden and unexpected passing has left a painful void in me.
A day hasn't gone by when I haven't unconsciously expected one of his frequent messages in my email, or find myself reading one of his witty posts on Facebook, or to share a joke, some news, or discuss our own personal troubles. Howard was never a fair weather friend. He was always supportive and a strong shoulder to lean on no matter what.
Some folks say that a remedy for sadness and mourning is to imagine your "Happy Place" in your mind and visit there for a while. I suppose this would be mine.
And if you can't seem to find your own "Happy Place" when you're feeling down, this is proof positive that sometimes it will come to you.
My own "Happy Place" visited me when I was a kid, in the unlikely spot of a shopping center parking lot in Louisville, Ky. Plus, it was free, and perhaps was my most awesome day, changing me forever.
I experienced real magic that day, setting me on the imaginative path I've followed ever since.
Not sure where all this nostalgic meandering is leading to. Nowhere, maybe. I suppose I'm just thinking out loud, keeping myself company, and trying to blanket my pain and loneliness with a warm, thrilling, and life-defining memory.
Yes, I suspect that's all it is. Not too important really, and probably impossible for those uninitiated to fully understand, but Howard would certainly have known exactly what I mean as he walked this same wild and wondrous trail.
Following your Muse is fraught with fears and insecurities. It's not ever easy nor anywhere close to a so-called normal life. But, as Howard and I frequently affirmed to each other regarding normalcy: "Where's the fun in that?"
No doubt about it, all things considered, I've been a very lucky guy. Luckier than most.