Thursday, June 17, 2010


Last week when I died
Someone turned the waves
Into wheatfields
And the song of the water
Was in my hands

The night too slow to sing to.

--Terri Wilson

I'm packing my stuff, getting ready to move out of the house on Tennessee Avenue, where I've lived longer than anywhere else in my life except for the house in which I grew up. I've shared this space with my two wonderful housemates more than nine years. Whoa! It has been a great situation.

But everything has a lifespan. Last winter during the blizzards it came to me that the time to live alone (first time in more than 25 years) was fast approaching.

My move is scheduled for July 15, into the sweetest little apartment you can imagine. You are all invited to come visit once I get settled (and after I find a fold out couch). When you walk through the front door, each of you will say, "Awwwww!! How cute!" That's just how sweet the space is.

Digging through all my stuff, sorting, tossing, recycling, is like an archeological dig. I've rediscovered so many amazing things tucked into dark corners or long buried at the bottom of some box or another. I'm dispatching a lot of this old stuff that either means nothing to me any longer, or represents terrible times in my life that I no longer need to hang on to.

The above was written by my old cohort Terri Wilson. She was the administrator in the orchestra personnel office at the San Francisco Symphony when I worked there. Terri was beautiful and almost freakishly talented. She could paint, play the piano, cook. She wrote the most amazing poetry. It still blows me away. She was odd, yes, but - who among us isn't? I found the above poem just now, written about three weeks prior to the day that, for reasons I will never understand, she overdosed on something, lay down on the beach at Half Moon Bay, and died.

Terri, I hope you are flying high somewhere or another. Damn you were good. I still think of you and love you! xx


  1. In a way Reya, I envy you! My life is the polar opposite of yours. I wish for solitude. But I am trying to find the joy every day. Thanks for the post!

  2. I'll be winge-ing about being lonely in no time flat, Vicki. That grass is ALWAYS greener, eh?

  3. Reya. The first thing I spent time with was the poem. I turned it around after I swallowed it and then regurgitated it. I sniffed it and dug through dusty files to imagine who Terri Wilson was. I was instantly struck by the depth of pain. I wondered was it a freakish accident, or was this an artist of complex genius.

    Then I read the blog and my heart went out to you. I was dancing with the thought of you moving in to a sweet small apartment, rejoicing in your journey. Then WHAM. I sort of remember hearing about your friend but never knew she died.

    I love her imagery and it hurts me to know that she suffered, if she suffered, haunted by nights by nights which dragged on with no room for her song. The water's song being in her hands--what a line!

    Thanks for sharing your personal story and many blessings on your new space. Love, Dub

  4. Thanks my dear. Terri was a trip. Why do people off themselves? I just can't wrap my mind around it. She had the meanest dog in the world, a dog who stood by her body for more than 24 hours until it was discovered. That truth broke my heart.

    After she died, the dog's disposition changed completely. It became the sweetest dog in the world. So there was some kind of darkness swirling always around her. I'm so glad I saved her poetry and many letters and notes we exchanged over the internet (when the internet was brand new in the 1980's). Actually I think it was an intranet.

  5. Thank you for sharing this poignant story, Reya.

    Yes, everything has a life span. It's own season.

    You are just coming into yours, Reya, and I hope you give yourself permission to fully enjoy every single morsel of it.

    Start shopping for that couch, Sister. I can't wait to see your sweet space!


  6. I think she ascended...she was just too damned good.

  7. I'm excited for you about your new place! There is something fundamentally soothing about having your own space. It's great to be out in the world interacting with people, events and just life in general, but it's even better to have a sanctuary to return and recharge in solitude. Besides that, you can run around in your underwear and no one cares.
    Sorry about your friend. I've never experienced the loss of someone I loved through suicide. That would be tough for me to put in perspective because I believe life to be a gift...but that's just me.

  8. Yes I can run around in my underwear!! I always put myself together here before going to the kitchen for coffee in the morning. I even put on makeup. My housemates are gorgeous gay men and even though I'm sure they don't really give a rat's ass what I look like first thing in the morning, they always look great. Maybe it's a competition thing. I look forward to letting my hair down in my own space. Oh yeah!

  9. Lindi loo I have known several people who took their own lives but please don't ask me to explain it. It's a total mystery to me.

  10. When the world seemingly holds nothing for you,
    When life is just old baggage and sad memories,
    When you think sorrow is the only feeling left for you to experience,
    When all that you love is cold and distant,
    When pain becomes your only friend and darkness surrounds your every thought,
    You consider all the eventualities.
    You look for a way out.

    I found my way out in a patient, abiding love,
    With a partner in and for life that knows all of my faults and loves me in spite of them.
    Thank God for second chances.
    Forgiveness is the way to salvation.

  11. Reya, have a great adventure!

    The "Daniel" post is me. I don't know why it came up that way.


  12. Wow, Danny...I can tell that is about your lovely wife! Can't wait to meet her.

  13. Reya...that's so funny about your roommates and so true! It's always so hard to keep up with the gay boys, but I love trying.

  14. Danny, what a beautiful post.

    Second chances, third chances, fourth chances. Let's be grateful for all the do-overs we've been granted in life!

  15. Beautiful poem, Danny! Forgiveness can NOT be overrated....I am so grateful for the times other people have forgiven me, and I WANT to do the same for others...really I do...oh yeah :>
    Reya that poem of your friends speaks volumes, and I especially loved the waves turning to wheat fields, I can see that - just as I saw diamonds in the water by Jo (and I see diamonds now in the poplar tree leaves). People just don't know how they touch others - and sometimes we don't even realize how they touch our hearts until years down the road. I am sad for your friend - I have known 2 acquaintances that took their lives - they were acquaintances, but those that they left behind were close to me - and their grief is something I relive when I think of it. Maybe a future poem/post...maybe.
    Meanwhile Reya, RUN through the new house with the scissors, JUMP on the couch, and CRANK up the music!!! Throw out the old(go AWAY Tom are SO yesterday.....)and LISTEN with your heart for the New!


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