Last summer I touched back in Florida to regain perspective. I landed in my hometown to witness my childhood friends getting hitched, wearing strings of pearls and toe-length ivory gowns with progress in the comforts of their lives not farther than their own boyfriends' backyards. I got there just in time to feel sorry for myself for not receiving one single wedding invitation when I landed. I helplessly arrived with many expectations. I imagined us to have healthy dinner parties at my house, with ample support and practice erupting in my old yoga studio walls. I daydreamed of old surfer buddies, excited to take me out on the Atlantic coast with my fresh perspective straight from the Hawaiian pipeline, to be our guide in the spirit of the surf. After the second week of being home, I realized that, though my physical proximity was closer, my connection to this town had drifted away. Three friends called and rescheduled dinner dates and two others stood me up at the waterfront for a yoga practice.
Mom called from Ankara, Turkey relating the sights of her trip and consoling me for my solitude. "Use this time for you then, babe. You can't take it personally." She told me to call a dear friend of hers, Chris Peck, and gave me his phone number. "Call him up, he's an amazing musician, traveler, and friend. He will take you out babe, do some yoga with ya. A good guy to hang with."
So, I did.
Chris would catch your eye across the room, just as a star would if it were falling from its fixed point in the sky, and leave you struck. Amazingly handsome man, 42 years old, his musical talent, voice, and swagger made him a wave of spiritual light in a place where most artificial light exists. Among all things, he was desirable. With his great gifts came great responsibility, in which his free spirit rebelled. His musical inclinations and his passion for wine and spirits encouraged experimentation in his consumption, as he tended to test himself and see how much he could really handle. Therefore he constantly challenged his tolerance. He tried all kinds of practices, drugs, mind altering therapies, to continue driving himself stronger, regardless of possible consequences.
We hung out together two nights in a row. We talked about all the things I dreamed of telling my old girlfriends when I arrived. He listened intently, keeping my wine glass far from empty, and my satiety full to expend all the tales of my travels. We jumped in his pool on Thursday night and swam around each other in circles, naked, creating a whirlpool of energy, completely void of expectations that a man and woman might face in an intimate situation. "I feel super comfortable with you, Erica. And, I love your mother very much. This is a special bond, the three of us have." At about 3am Friday morning, I felt pruned enough to call it a night. I drove home and nestled quietly in my bed. The following evening, a mutual friend called me with a somber tone. "I hate to tell you this, Erica, but Chris Peck was found dead in his pool this afternoon. No one knows yet how he died."
Nothing smaller than a golfball sank from the middle of my throat to the bottom of my heart. I was and couldn't say anything back."How!? What? Why!" I was just with him last night!" I hung up the phone without any answers, immersed in disbelief. My next immediate thought was my mother. I knew I had to be the one to tell her. I wondered why this had to happen while I was home. I was channeling her when I was with him, and noticed myself referring to her, saying things she probably would have said to him if she were there. I feel our support mutually connected to his soul, especially at this point of my first time meeting him. I was open and honest with him, void of any judgment, allowing topics of discussion to come up that maybe we otherwise wouldn't tell anyone else, and my mother was the bridge that made of feel confident that our secrets were safe among each other.
Chris and I only had a few hours together, but what we uncovered rang true for ions of spiritual growth. He taught me a lot that night we hung out in the pool, shared so much of his wisdom, and even more so when he passed. I understand now, what it is to be the witness of such amazing beings, especially in their impermanent states and everlasting influences. My mother doesn't know it but she was there that night, too. She stabilized the strength of our triangle, an arrowhead with three points. It was as if the three of us called upon those angelic realms that Chris often tries to invoke himself, through his experimentations. Only this time, they responded and his body couldn't withstand the transition, leaving it behind.
I remember driving home that night with such a big smile on my face, thanking him he whole way home for sharing his love with me. At whatever place that holds in the timing of his journey, I know for sure that my thoughts and prayers will guide him with strength. I honor his life and his spiritual journey forever. R.I.P Chris Peck