Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life on Earth

Yesterday we spent the day celebrating the life of a friend who was killed in a bizarre biking accident two years ago and then afterward we drove into San Francisco to have dinner with a friend who survived the Tsunami on Phi Phi in 2004. The juxtaposition of these two life experiences certainly makes me think life here on earth is pretty random.

Our dear Elena was biking to work in Oakland two years ago last week. A truck driver, who claims he simply didn’t see her, ran her over with a large truck. She was killed instantly. Yesterday was the second annual picnic of her friends and family to celebrate and remember her life. It felt a bit like going to a party where the guest of honor doesn’t show. But she had so many lovely friends that it was a wondrous day spent with lovely people. I am blessed to know them through Elena.

In the evening we joined a friend of mine visiting from Europe whom I have not seen in many years. He was vacationing on Phi Phi in 2004 with his then-wife when the Tsunami hit. He was swept up into a tree where he survived by hanging onto the limbs. His wife was drowned. He was so badly injured that he had to remain on Phi Phi for several weeks in the hospital and a nurse finally accompanied him on his flight home. His wife’s body was recovered and they waited for him to get out of the hospital to hold a memorial. He is an exceptionally positive, resilient person. He remarried in May and was driving up the Pacific Coast (talk about “getting back on the horse”) with his new wife on their honeymoon. Ron and I had dinner with them at Fisherman’s Wharf. His new wife is lovely, smart and beautiful, accomplished in her field, and so good with him. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to see him happy again in his new marriage. I am blessed to have seen him at all, to have seen him alive.

Before going to sleep last night, I couldn’t help but reflect on how random and chaotic the way of things seems. I would like to think there is a reason for everything, but how can that be when senseless death and miraculous survival occur side-by-side on the planet? I suppose it is arrogant of me to imagine that perhaps I could understand the greater design, and ignorant of me to suggest that there is none. Life on earth is certainly puzzling.

One thing I know to be true is that my husband DJs on the radio most Saturday nights and I want to remind you to listen in to the audiostream on your computer. His show is on KZYX Saturday from 8 to 10 PM PST. On the 22nd he’ll be doing a show of ALL live performance recordings in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, which was this weekend. Go to KZYX and click on Listen Live. You can email him during the show at

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