Last night I went to a workshop for women who are trying to make a living as artists. What a good move. Lamplight, a circle of soft chairs, some Girl Scout cookies and four boisterous, brilliant chicks. We talked about where we are in our journeys and offered fresh views on old problems. I’m so glad I was there. The women were gracious, allowing me to vent and moan without judgment or interruption. About three quarters of the way through my monologue of ire one of the women made a startling connection between the frustration I am feeling in my home life and the still-fresh death of one of my lifelong friends. And the room hushed. Her words shawled my shoulders. She was right. I am still grieving and the anger I was expressing to the group was probably just a cover for my heart’s mourning. I sat there in the soft little chair and let it all sink in: my friend is gone my friend is gone my friend is gone my friend is gone my friend is gone. There it was, a lightning bolt setting the carpet on fire. The pink elephant sitting crisscross applesauce on the living room floor. A bitter, chalky pill of pain much harder to swallow than the gel-coated aspirin of anger. You know what happened next. Cue: shoulders slightly trembling. Bottom lip quiverng. Tears rush to rim of eyes. And the ladies watched it all unfold. Lovingly. Gently. Quietly. I’m so glad I went. I’m so glad I went there where the hurt switched places with the rage. A few minutes passed and I collected myself. My anger cooled and left me feeling reflective, rinsed, as if it had rained inside of me and now I was clean and clear. Now I know what I must do. Now it’s time to begin the soul-ripping work of missing my girl. A solitary journey barren as a walk through snow, the only footprints mine. I’ve been down this road before and it’s treacherous with very few stop signs. But at least I’m on the right path and at least I don’t have to walk by myself all the time and at least the moon is looking out for me. If I look up, I can count the stars.