From the Editor


“To New Lands and Old Memories!”

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“From now until you die make it count.”

“So come hear the band on Saturday night.  Y’ know Chris life is so peculiar.  Full of variety.  Things to do, things to learn, people to meet, places to go.  Millions of tiny worlds other than this one.”

“There is so much to do and time is always the enemy.”

“And Chris, I’m still utterly consumed by the meaning of life?  Give me your thoughts on life’s purpose – happiness etc.”

“So listen Chris. SNAP OUT OF IT. You sound lost in this big bad world of ours.  Well it’s all we got and it don’t get any better unless we make it better and you probably know that, but it helps to be told over and over again.  Make your changes and take the plunge join the rest of us – don’t withdraw.” 

“We made it!  We did it!  We made it!  Kick out the jams!  Travelling is it.  I’ve got such plans.  Watch me!”

~ Peter’s Words~


I began this year writing about an old friend, Peter, whom I had lost touch with.  Finding a post card from Peter had caused me to reflect upon him and our friendship, as well as other moments and people, who impact our life.  I ended the column with “By the way Peter, if you are somehow out there, and read these words – write me!”

I had not included that line in the original piece, it was only seconds before preparing to publish, that I hesitantly added the personal note; I so wish I had done more than simply write those words.  I wish I had searched for Peter, who never contacted me.  The man with whom Peter and I spent a magical week in Pairs, whom I shall call John, did find me, through these pages.

When I initially saw John’s email, my heart skipped a beat, with joy.  There are some relationships which touch our lives profoundly, and while not always sustainable, what they meant will never fade.  As I read John’s second email, my heart began to sink a bit; he wanted to know if I had heard the news; which he believed best to share when we spoke.  The ominous tone of his words, finally led me to type Peter’s name into the ubiquitous search engines, which I use to find hours of operation, directions, and other such trivialities.

There were over five hundred entries for Peter.  John, thankfully, had thought it important that I know that Peter had been killed in Kabul, by a suicide bomber, accompanied by two gunmen, on January 17, 2014, just a mere two weeks, after I had written about him and his rose.

He was too young to die, and no one should die such a senseless death.  Even now, as I sit to write these words, having spent the last few weeks thinking about Peter, reading the lovely stories and comments made about him, and re-reading his letters, I still cannot believe that he is dead – he was simply, as clichéd as it is, too full of life to die so young.

It has been an odd month inundated with contemplative considerations about loss, sorrow, regret, and the youthful dreams, which seem to fade with the passage of time.   As I had said in January, I met Peter and John, standing in line, to use the telephone.  They had been traveling together for over 70 days, and were at the end of their trip to Europe and North Africa, I was just beginning.

Until the post, in January, I had not written about our time together.  Today, as I sat once again surrounded by Peter’s letters, wanting to pay homage to the man and his memories, I read his journal entries from that week in Paris, which he captured with such remarkable detail.  He prefaced the letter, which contained his journal, with a warning that the bumps and bruises were intact, and ended it by admonishing me that I should not be hurt, by anything I had read.  I do not know how I reacted 28 years ago, but today I am awash with gratitude, that he would have shared his thoughts and feelings, amazed that someone who had just met me would have so much insight into who I was, overwhelmed at what a wonderful gift he left me, by so thoroughly documenting that week, and sad that I had not filled in more of the blanks for him – there is so much which I wish I had shared, so much which would have answered his questions, so much to now regret.

His journal entry sends me to my own, and I find his handwriting, he is pretending to be me: “The two apostles, but still I don’t know.  I’m still not sure.  Could it be?  Is it possible?  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.  Tomorrow I leave for London with them.  That alters my plans slightly but I don’t mind.  I’m living in the here, the now.  The only ones for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to breath, mad to be saved, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles, exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle the center blue light pops and everyone goes ‘ah’.  Paris je t’aime.  It’s been a day.”  ~ Peter ~

Poetic and brilliant, Peter often told me not to think of he and John as one, they were friends, traveling companions, but two separate people – yes, but they were both intellectuals, with insatiable appetites, who hungered for knowledge and experience, they wanted to see the world, to conquer the unknown, to master their universe, to impact those around them – they impacted my life.

I am happy to know that Peter found love, had a family, continued to be kind and generous, helping those in need, traveled the world, and never stopped writing letters on hotel stationery!  Looking through the photographs, on flicker, link below, I see that he never lost his passion for life.

Peter chided me, in his Parisian journal, stating that I thought of him and John as being nice; I too make note, in my own journal, about how nice they were.  I wish I had made clear to him that nice was an honor, and not a dismissive notion.  I so deeply regret the words that were left unsaid; that is all for now – rest in peace Dear Peter – Chris


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To view some of his photography:

To read more about what happened:


2 Responses to From the Editor

  1. The Dialogue on January 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm

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