Robert Frey died two years ago today (June 15, 2004). He was a real friend, someone who made a huge difference in my life. I still miss him. I probably always will. The day he died I was busy working on a book with my friend Garvin. I had been struggling to find a way to articulate the perspective I longed to share with the world, and so Garvin and I had been spending quite a bit of time together that spring.
The truth is, I was terrified of taking a stand on how to delineate the perspective that has become my new book, Drunk with Wonder: Awakening to the God Within. I guess I thought that as long as I kept the whole idea “out there” somewhere, I could remain safe in my comfort zone. You see, my friends Rich and Yvonne taught me that all leaders are judged. They taught me many other things as well, as did Robert, and some of this material appears in the book.
My point here is that I was (and still am, from time to time) petrified at the idea of being “seen.” “The material is important,” I would say, “but I am not.” However, as I and so many others teach, we are all precious sparks of God… even me. And if I wish “to be the change I wish to see in the world,” I must show up as that change.
So, on that fateful day two years ago, sitting with Garvin in the office sobbing over Robert’s passing, a sense of clarity and resolve washed over me like the warmth of a sunrise. Through my tears, I looked up at Garvin and said, “I know what to do. I know how I want to craft it. Let’s get busy.”
Garvin helped get my extensive notes organized and we had a rough draft of the first half of the book completed by the following January. My dear friend Franklin and I took it from there, and by last August we had what I called “Build 3” ready for inspection. I was blessed to have several talented, wise and loving people carefully read the manuscript and give countless helpful suggestions. I kept putting out new “builds” until, early this year, it was essentially complete.
The past several months have been spent designing the book, with help from my friend David Smith of Nine Trees Design, and the terrific cover with my enormously talented step-son Calvin Turnwall of Real Smart Art. And now, two years to the day after Robert’s death, I hold Drunk with Wonder in my hands.
On one level, this book is actually more Robert’s gift than my own, because if he hadn’t reached out to me during a Quantum Shift Retreat in February 1993, I don’t know that I’d still be on the planet, let alone a published author. Among Robert’s many talents and gifts, he led Sufi dances of Universal Peace. I first did Sufi dancing with Robert during and after that same retreat, one of several he led with Joy Nelson. This past spring I have been blessed with Sufi Dancing coming to Ukiah. Sometimes, while I danced, I could feel Robert’s hand in mine and hear his laughter as it tickled my heart.
Namaste, Robert. I love you.