On the path to flight we find ourselves at a crossroad. The one thing that we truly love more than the ones that fill our lives, is sometimes the one thing that is the most fleeting. Still new to the sport of human flight, I find myself strongly effected by the cycle.
It will never be easy to watch other’s lights ignite while we watch the strongest ones burn out. My heart hurts for the people effected by the extinguishment of Daniel Moore’s light. He burned brighter than most. I’m lucky enough to have met him in this life. Fly free beautiful friend, you have left a stronger impression on this earth than you may have ever known you could have.
I sat and stared out my window for a moment. Everything seemed to be put on mute. I could see that the wind was moving the leaves in the tree outside my bedroom window, I cold feel the cold air hit my face. I could see the rain fall into puddles surrounding my feet, the wet drops falling upon my skin. But I could not hear any of it. My world was quite. It was just me there. My body was stiff, and my breathes deep and ocean like. It was in this moment I truly saw the importance of the rise and fall of my chest as I breathed in the cold air.
I saw fear in his face last night, as he told me what had happened. I saw the pain he felt when he heard the news about our friend. About his dear dear friend. I felt my own pain. I felt my own fear. But they were from different worlds. He felt for what he knew from experience. He felt for who he saw as a brother, for who he saw as family. I felt for what I knew from observation, and my short time with Daniel. I felt for my fear of his own future in BASE jumping.
When someone you know loses their breath…permanently. You loose your own, for many moments. You gasp to breathe in what seemed so effortless just moments before. You lose control over your own Prana, your own life force. In those moments there are no words, there are no guidebooks to help you with this part of life. This part of life, is not life. It is the dark side that so many of us forget exists until it quietly sneaks up on us, and saunters away with the breath of our loved ones.
I am touched by the people that walk in, and out of my life. Their stories intrigue me, their motives move me, their energy pushes me in many directions. You may spend years with a person, and never know who they are. You spend all your time delving into conversation, and activity trying to find a common ground to plant a seed there for a connection. But some people, those exceptional people, that possess a dynamic light, they capture you in one glance. You see straight into their soul, and you find genuine, authentic passion for life.
For with those people, you don’t need years of life to know them. You already do. They are truly themselves, and they are genuine in every interaction they have.
He was that kind of individual, Daniel was. One summer. That’s all I needed. I can’t claim to be a best friend, or even a close friend. I can only claim to have been effected positively by his actions, his words, and his interactions. Just a kid really with a explosive lust for life …..for defying the limits. But truly wise, truly authentic and …… sincere. He was beautiful inside, and out. His flame burned brighter than most, and the moment I met him I knew he was one of the extraordinary ones. He always made me laugh, and he was so childlike in instances that you felt like he saw life as one large period of recess. That was how he lived. Every time he came to the house he bursted in with some sort of good news, or fun idea of something we should all do. He lit up the room. I knew he’d do large things in this life, and he did. I knew he was the kind of guy that loved everything passionately…..his sport, his friends, his girlfriend, his life.
I hurt for those closest to him, because it is such a grave loss to lose those muses in our lives. It is so heartbreaking to lose our hero’s, our inspirers, our catalysts. Daniel Moore is not just a BASE jumper that lost his life doing what he loved, he is so much much more than that. He was a rock for his beautiful girlfriend, he was the most fun playmate for all the Moab Monkeys (too many of you amazing people to list), he was a role model for his brother, and he was a friend to all.
I could see clearly who he was in our fleeting summer friendship. His light will live on brightly through all his Moab Monkey family and all the others that were family to him….his memory will live on through all the backpackers, high liners, rock climbers, base jumpers, and skydivers traveling through Utah that were lucky enough to spend time with him. He rigged the first, and only high line I have ever had the guts to walk out onto, and he held my hand when I stepped over the edge into the canyon. He was just the kind of person that made you feel like you could face your fears, he was truly inspiring. He made me feel more alive that day than I ever had. I will forever be thankful to him for that.
Where ever he is now he’s rigging a tree house, or a high line, or sitting on the top of a cliff looking down on all of you that he spent his short but beautiful life with……and he’s smiling. He was always smiling. I never saw Daniel frown, even when no one was watching. He was always smiling that big beautiful smile of his. Fly free beautiful bird, we are all down here watching your soar free.
So what do the rest of us do now. We see our friends come and go. We fall in love with one another, we become family, we inspire one another, we move one another, we cry together, we play together….and sometimes we help each other heal.
This is not the part of life that we look forward to, but it is the part of life that makes us stronger. It is the one inevitable part of life that brings us all back together, the part that truly reclaims our connection to one another.
Never forget that time is a constant wavering variable. No one can tell you how much, or how little of it that you have. Drink in every moment, ever sip of air that this life gifts you. And truly appreciate the people that you share those moments with. Because at some point, and you will never know at what point, those moments will come to an end.
And the last thing you want to regret is how you spent your time in those moments. That’s what our muses teach us.
They teach us that life…….is a gift, not a given. Don’t waste your time in planning tomorrow. Live each and every day, with all your energy. Put passion into every single interaction you have. Love deeply, and speak kindly. Make every breath count.