It was exactly 5 years ago to this day that my former girlfriend (whom I call Laurie in my book Meet Me in the Distance), in a fit of rage, told me to move out of her house. This is a date which has taken on some significance in my mind, an anniversary of sorts. It marked a traumatic upheaval in my life certainly, although by that point in my life (I was 57) I’d experienced plenty of traumatic upheavals in my life and had gotten through them. But this one was qualitatively different. Much more than the bitter fact of the trauma, I have come to see this date as the beginning of a strange new rebirth, of a new broadening and deepening of my ways of looking at everything: at myself, at other people, and of a sweeping reevaluation of all of my assumptions and values. The beginning of a falling away of my old life and old identity. Sometimes trauma can have the unexpectedly positive effect of helping you to cast off your old, burdensome psychological baggage, which was the case for me.

That day, Dec 5 2010, as painful as it was, set me on a strange, intense, and strangely beautiful path of creative and psychological exploration which has led me here, to the great love of my life, in this beautiful little town, and to this quiet life of peaceful, ordinary human joy and love that I could not have imagined 5 years ago. The difference between the person I was back then and the person I am now is hard to comprehend.