David and the Debt of Gratitude

I never met him. We were never friends, lovers, band mates, or even shopped in the same store at the same time. Every time our paths might have crossed, the universe had other plans. I didn’t even find out about his death until seven years after the fact. So what the hell could I possibly have to be grateful for?

It’s probably easiest to start with the most obvious: his music. His words. His voice. Whenever I’ve contemplated writing this down, Abba begin to sing in my head. “Thank You for the Music”, of course. Some people may think that I’m being too light-hearted here. Death is no laughing matter, even the person in question is Australian. To them I say, this isn’t about death. It is about pure, honest gratitude for something that has been my companion for over twenty years now and still means a lot to me. Meister Eckhart supposedly said, “if the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” David deserves my thanks. Besides: I like Abba.

If I were truly afraid of sounding like a pretentious git, this is where I’d stop. But I can’t. Not all has been said. So I’ll just go ahead. And if you want to think of me as a pretentious git, you go ahead. Either way, we’ll both have taken a step forward. After a series of curious happenings, I was gifted something else: more music I had never considered listening to, books I had never considered reading before, and films I had never had any interest in seeing. A good number of them have spawned yet more books, music, films. New ideas. New places. An entire network of new experiences!

And yet, and yet… even this is not all. Amazingly, David has also shared you with me. His friends. His band mates. The people who shopped at the same store at the same time. And through you – you’ve guessed it – yet MORE music. Books. Films. Ideas. Places. I’ve never done a thing to deserve this much. If that is not a damn good reason to express gratitude!

So today I will light my little candle and say my little prayer for this great man whose generosity has bridged all barriers.

Thank you.


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