July 9, 2007

Always...Just Being Leif

Yesterday was Leif’s memorial held at the Oakland Center for Spiritual Living. What a wonderful celebration of this man’s life. Stephen and Orlena created a beautiful slide presentation of photos highlighting special life events, those happy places and candid moments in his life. It was the first time I viewed Leif as a toddler, “kid” and teen…god, he was such a beautiful boy…one whose beauty only deepened as he became a young man. I do believe all in attendance left touched and impacted by Leif whose message in passing was a parable for the living. This gathering of family and friends cannot be called a “final” tribute to Leif for he will continue to provide us vivid memories of his childish joy, experiencing life on his own terms, his vibrant displays of emotions and his curiosity for the unknown.
Again this morning…my first opening thought was of Leif…with the same questions…where you be? What is it like Leif? Although all my moments or days with Leif over the sixteen years I knew him were unique, happy and many times insightful, Our last visit together was a weeklong, 277 mile rafting adventure through the Grand Canyon during the summer of 2005…which proved to be the final time I saw him prior to his untimely transition (Untimely?… I never saw Leif wearing a watch…time was irrelevant…days timeless). And if there ever was a time when I could create an example of “lifedancing”, providing a pictorial slide show of Leif experiencing the Canyon over these 7 days would be it. Jumping off cliffs and waterfalls, embracing the waves rapids head first, being the last one to arise in the morning even as we noisely broke camp around him, habanero sauce drizzled over anything labeled food, collecting scorpions in his clothes bag, forgetting or losing gear…he was “typical” Leif on this trip (Leif was anything but typical). Over the years I realized that Leif had this attraction to what most people would classify as bizarre, grotesque or even weird…but think about this…don’t many people see life with their eyes closed, with fear and judgements, half empty versus half full? Leif viewed the unseen…and to my knowledge he saw with no man made filters or barriers. And in his 36 year lifetime, he offered himself to more experiences than those twice his age, those among us who live life with blinders on…those with daily duplication of habits, creative talents used only mastering the functions on the tv remote and whose “pictures” of life are dictated by the same control. Life is food for the soul. We are offered choices to sample it…through a feeding tube, a straw or on an “all you can eat” platter. I always choose the latter…but Leif chose to be the tastebud…seeking and experiencing life in its rawest form.

My simple remembrance of a very loving and complex friend...who will be missed and thought of often...

As a memorial to Leif...on the one year anniversary of his passing...we celebrated his life under a "timeless" Cambrian oak tree (and so fitting that it engulfed us with its loving canopy of branches), sharing Leif stories, his writings and honoring his being.
Post a Comment