Pure Presence

Peter was pure presence. In the pages of Bigger Than The Sky, his words point to the sudden descent of grace after he took his terrible fall—the fall being a series of strokes that occurred after an accident.

As it said on his website, “In intense deep lasting illness, there is no time for beliefs, mantras, systems, paths, or for that matter, anything else. There is only the realization of helplessness, and for the very very lucky, an abandonment of everything.”

So in that abandonment, Peter became furniture for his cats and a companion of God, whom he insisted on calling She. I liked that, for surrender is a feminine principle and the core of Tao, the way of returning to our original nature.

His wit was vitally intact. His “ho ho’s” rang through every email he ever sent to me. Although my husband was a dying man, so was Peter. How was I to weave this into my path without breaking the thread of grace?

Peter’s way was to listen intently to me as I wrote my sorrow into something that could sustain me. Love was a given, but often I ran straight into the wall of grief. Blinded by tears, I turned again and again to my friend for connection. “Love never faileth.”

He has been gone for a while now. He reaches down to jog me when I fall asleep. He would laugh when I complain about a group of robins pooping on my car every single day. The rain washes it away and then they start all over again. “The birds they poop at the break of day….start again, I hear them say.” And so the cosmic joke falls from the sky just as rain.

When all is said and done, love is the trickiest thing we shall ever encounter. It is able to poke its nose into sorrow and turn it into fine wine. It is able to make a man like Peter live forever. It is able to let us know that all manner of things shall be exceedingly well, as Juliana of Norwich said.

Aloha, Peter. You grace the pages of my book with your powerful presence. Who could ask for anything more?

Vicki Woodyard
Author of Bigger Than The Sky

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