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Love and Loss Can Stall You, but also Act as Jumper Cables In Your Own Journey.

Hi my Sound Soaked Salty Faced Fishies!

This week I'm feeling a combination of refreshed and sad. Clear headed and slow. Forward moving and reflective. I had this gorgeous weekend camping at Deception Pass. The salty breeze kicking off the Sound kept us cool on a sticky

hot weekend. That gorgeous sandy spot at the bottom of the Deception Pass drop, the food, the company was all just unbeatable. However right as we were taking off to head there, our car loaded with inflatables, biodegradables, flammables, over-priced solar-powered REI bits and bobbles ... I got a message on my phone.

A dear friend passed away.

It was weird to get into a car primed for an ultimate weekend fun time play time, and feel the way I do. The only thing that kept me moving forward was knowing the type of person that he was. Lived life fully, noticed nature, made time for his friends, made beautiful food, never stopped learning, talked to strangers, laughed. Laughed a LOT. So it actually felt very appropriate and a sign from the other side that I was doing all the things he loved most this past weekend. I also found it coincidental that last week we talked a lot about an unfiltered process. No short cuts, embracing all the mistakes along the way. Seeing them not as a step back but part of the necessary training. Using Doc, yes Doc, from Back to The Future, as the perfect inspiration. Doc shows unwavering persistence and no fear of failure. No matter how many failed experiments were piled up behind him, or how much he was judged, or is not the most successful on paper, he kept it moving. Last week was all about being more like Doc. Well, when I think about it my friend was an actualized Doc. About the same age, wild wiry hair, and excited eye balls. Instead of a DeLorean he had a beat up unpredictable Toyota that made funny noises. Much like Doc, despite everyone's skepticism that his machine could travel far, he proved them all wrong by driving across country. He'd have to take unplanned pit stops but eventually it took him anywhere he needed to go. Fueled with the thrill of adventure and premium, high octane optimism. Also just like Doc he walked into every room frantic about something that just happened or had big plans for something about to happen.

My friend was frantically obsessed with filling his life with experiences and people. He looooooved people and took care of the people in his life. No short cuts in the way he forged food and friendships. Will show up to a dinner with homemade torte made from berries he grew. He'd send hand written letters from his letter press - just because and was the first to wish you a Happy Birthday. He gave a lot without having a lot, and always made you feel richer just by being around him.

This week I apologize if I'm responding a little slower or my mind is wandering further than usual. Yes I am mourning my friend. Just like it's important to not skip making mistakes in your training process, we shouldn't skip the sad parts of our mourning process. There's no short cuts or timeline for that either. However I am also doing some deep digging and refilling. Inspired by his fearless spirit and using it as fuel. It's the most surreal sort of grief when the person that left us lived life with so much "nothing to lose" passion. Truly left it all on field, like his Toyota parts scattered behind him on the highway when he got to his destinations. He led a life that was unconventional, but authentically him, and was adored by the people that knew him. So in the same way we need to be more like Doc, we need to be more like my friend David.

Lately I've been needing to tap into my friend, I'm heading into things that are pushing me outside my comfort zones. In two weeks I've decided to get on a plane to see my family in Hawaii. Last minute decision for no other reason than it's been a while and I miss them. Usually the cost, the needing to stay and build the studio, traveling alone with Noemie, would give me enough anxiety to talk myself out of it. However I need to stop overthinking it, and just be like my friend David. Quality time with family and friends should always be a priority. Also this Thursday I'm hosting a beautiful event, something I would usually get stage fright about, but instead I'm letting excitement drive. I will be teaching a lot of strangers in a remote location, outside the comforts of my studio. Like David, Im choosing to see the situation as a fun adventure and every new face as a beautiful budding connection. Using his spontaneity to jump start my engine and his fearlessness as my fuel.

Just because I find it beautiful and very him, below are pictures of the last time we hung out at his cabin on the San Juans. I was very pregnant and just rolled around demanding food. He dug clams and prepared a memorable forged feast. I also want to share a text exchange I had with him back in February. His response after finding out about his cancer diagnosis. Another reason we should all be like David:

"Throughout this whole experience I’ve never been down in the dumps. In fact I was telling one friend the news and cracking jokes like ‘no need to wait to get a new iPhone now’ and ‘I just bought a five pound bag of sugar, might be my last’ and he said, 'Dave, you almost seem elated.'

Well, I’m not elated, but things are pretty good. The surgery went great, and I’ve experienced no pain. In my recovery ’m eating well, going for walks in Walden Woods, doing puzzles, and checking in with dear friends like you. It’s awesome actually. Beats work. I think I’ll take another week off. I used up my meager medical leave last week and am in the hole, taking advance leave. But it is so worth it.

One more thing. There is of course a lot to say about this journey, and I’d be happy to tell you all. But I think you’ll appreciate this one moment. After having an elevated rate and arrhythmia for a few days following surgery, my heart kicked back into a proper rate and rhythm, defying the cardiologists that wanted to do a procedure on me to shock it into regular sinus rhythm called cardioversion. Just as they were about to put me out, my body decided to take care of it itself. That was Fat Thursday. I had told my parents the directions to the Polish deli, and they had pączki waiting for me when I got back from my non-cardioversion.

OK. Do zobaczenia!"

~ David Pippin 2/15/23

Excited to make your bodies sweat, smile, and live life fully, notice nature, make time for your friends, make beautiful food, never stop learning, talk to strangers, laugh. Laugh a LOT.


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