Saturday, November 14, 2015

55: hold the light

My friend Nick Alexander was murdered last night in the Paris nightclub attack. Nick did merch for touring bands, sold the t shirts and music and whatever else. We met when he did merch on a tour I was on when I played a few show in England several years ago. The guy was really special and sweet. On a night when everyone had hotel rooms and I was supposed to sleep in the bus alone, due to my low budget, he let me sleep in his bed and he took the floor, a true gentleman.

He slept on my couch a couple of nights when he visited Los Angeles. It might have been his first visit, not sure. On another visit, he came to the Day of the Dead celebration at the Hollywood Forever graveyard with me and my husband. If you read my blog you know it is an event I am really fond of, which celebrates those who have left us, on a night when, according to tradition, the veil is thinnest between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

Nick was easy to be around, soft and cool and positive, always smiling. He just had a lust for life and wanted to see the world and meet people and travel and be involved in the music scene. And he did that, which is awesome; Nick lived the life he wanted, an achievement not that many succeed at. And he died doing that.

He was shot by terrorists while working the merch table in a nightclub in Paris. Nick died in the arms of a friend who loved him, a friend he called to hang out with because he was on tour in her city. His last day was spent having a good time with a friend. They were shot together while they lay on the floor during the attack. She held him in her arms and told him she loved him and tried to save his life, but couldn't. It gives me comfort to know that he was not alone and scared, but held and loved and cared for in his final moments. Fuck fear, love will always prevail, this I know.

Fun and warm and big hearted, Nick Alexander had so many friends and was truly loved by so many people, and that, my dear readers, is the measure of a successful life.

I will keep him in my heart always, especially every year when I celebrate the Day of the Dead.  As a great friend reminded me today, let us all continue to hold the light.

"Love and peace and rock and roll, dear Nick."


“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, ‘There, she is gone’

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
 And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

 Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, ‘There, she is gone,’
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes!’

And that is dying...

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as 

unique as the individual experiencing it.”
 - Henry Van Dyke

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