Lost an old friend today.

Deep Peace to You
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.
– Adapted from Ancient Gaelic Runes

My fondest memories of Keith Campbell, Aspen as he was known in circle, were the time I ran into him at the Twin Cities Pride and when I went with him on tour with a choir called One Voice Mixed Choir. I am pretty sure I was with my friend Amy at Pride and I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen anyone I knew . All of a sudden I look up and there is Keith standing there alone.  I yelled, “Keith!”  When he turned to see me,  he smiled and we greeted each other with hugs.  Honestly, I do not remember much after that. But it was such a neat coincidence that one second I was wondering, ” Where were all my gay boyfriends?”, and the next second there was smiling Keith.

Years later we were both in a LGBT choir together called, One Voice Mixed Choir.  We were on a little tour of some cities in Northern Minnesota.  Quite a few folks went to the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids. Keith couldn’t wait to find me because he found this round table at the museum that had an amazing spiral swirling out from the center of it.  The spiral was running the “wrong”‘ direction, but other than that it would be perfect for a Bluestar* Altar.

My husband really enjoyed Keith and seemed to want to do so many things with him and for him.  Sometimes I resented it, because my hubby should have been doing other things like homework or cleaning our house. However, my spouse never regretted it

Keith lived unapologetically. Even when his way wasn’t what a majority of people approved of, he didn’t care. He kept on the same path that he’d been on.  So many times he would find the odd person out and create bonds with them making them feel welcomed and loved.  He found ways of using Pagan poems, chants, and songs uniquely.  Once at choir, I was staving off an anxiety attack and he worked his magic through a chant to ground me.

I admit it, I envied how Keith’s brain remembered and used so much knowledge.  Often I feel as if I have an empty head.  This feeling isn’t true. When I’m helping teach about my tradition, I find that I know way more than I give myself credit.  I just haven’t dedicated my life to teaching and knowing Bluestar the way Keith did.  That’s okay because everyone has their uses and place on this crazy planet.

I was far from Keith’s best friend but he left an impression on my life that will never be erased. I am so happy for that.

“Hail! The Traveler!”

*What is Bluestar?

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