I’ve been working on a lot of stuff lately, but I haven’t posted in a while, because a very dear friend of mine died, and I haven’t really known what to say.
Even now, the words that come closest are lines from a poem that was read at Matthew’s memorial service.
I loved my friend
He went away from me.
There’s nothing more to say.
The poem ends
Soft as it began
I loved my friend.
All the photos I have of us together are either doing puzzles, or of the food and drink we were eating at the time; that was a bittersweet discovery. I wanted to say that that’s how I knew him best and that’s how I would remember him. That’s true, but it’s not the entirety of it. The truth is, he’s left a huge void behind, in my life and many others’, and we’re all still struggling with how to deal with that, and with knowing it can’t ever be refilled.
At least for me, Matthew was a huge part of my creative existence. We had a lot of projects going, and we’d made a lot of plans for the future. One week before he died, we discussed which Kurosawa film we’d watch next as part of a marathon and study of influences, and we assigned each other homework. We were going to do Infinite Summer this year.
He was an integral part of our puzzle-solving team, and during that same discussion a week earlier, after a fun and successful run in the Portland Afoot game, we’d all talked about how grateful we were to have each other, to have a team that was so well-balanced, that could play to each others’ strengths, to be members of a group that were focused on sportsmanship and having fun, even while playing to win.
We became friends in the first place because he threw us a welcome to Portland party when we first moved here; we had never met in person before.
He died on May 13. A month and a half has passed since then. I intend to write something longer, but I find I’m needing a lot of time to reflect. I haven’t felt like I could write anything on this blog until I at least acknowledged what happened. Normal service–whatever that means–will resume as soon as possible.