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Judy Cohen

When I reflect on David's life, and our relationship of 31 years, I cannot help thinking of the Dr. Seuss book entitled, Oh, the Places You'll Go. I met him on an Indian Summer day in September of 1973 in Cambridge, Mass. He was only 19 and had just landed his first high-tech job and was on his first spiritual quest. He was the boy next door, living at the Arica Institute communal house just down the street from me. When he came to visit, he also came to visit my books. He would often just pull them off the shelves - he was so interested in everything. I was studying psychology at the time, and he, too, seemed quite taken with it. This pleased me, but he never put the books back on the shelf; this did not please me, and it was the beginning of many often funny and sometimes challenging experiences we shared.

But I was enthralled by this very young and sweet person, who had a brilliant mind and wonder written all over his face. Some relevant words of the Dr. Seuss story popped into my head then:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

And, oh, the places he went -- geographically as well as spiritually.

He traveled across the U.S. in his VW bus. He traveled for his work, which took him to Canada and Europe. He traveled to Arica meetings throughout California and to Hawaii. He went to China and Tibet with the Berkeley Psychic Institute. He, along with his family and me, traveled to Israel. And, finally, he moved from the East Coast to the West, inspiring me and two of my nieces to follow suit. He started a westward migration in my family, and here we have thrived.

What I will miss most about David is his intelligent, insightful humor. He taught me not to take myself so seriously and always had the best joke or the most relevant story to tell me to lift me out of my worst attacks of self-doubt and worry. He did imitations of Columbo for me, and really just about everyone from the early days of Saturday Night Live to the Sopranos. He was a great verbal caricaturist, and he was highly amusing.

He knew me so well, and he liked me anyway. He accepted me for what I was and knew that I could be even more and encouraged me along my path. What greater gift can anyone really have from another person? I will remember David as my erstwhile companion, partner in many adventures, lover, and pal. Whatever our relationship was at any given time, close or far, conscious or unconscious, our spirits were inexorably connected in many ways over 31 years.

I will cherish his many spiritual gifts, material gifts, his wisdom, abundant humor and wit. He was a "brainiac," a lover of whimsy and the absurd; he plumbed the depths of the complex, gray areas of life, always seeking to understand the truth of human experience. And like all of us, he had his own brand of frustration and disappointment. He dealt with his personal pain in his own way, at times withdrawn and stoical. He could be silent and stubborn. And this was his own way of handling that with which he wrestled. He learned from his struggles, and he grew from them, and passed on his insights to others.

In addition to his career as a big-time "techie," he was a teacher and student, therapist, helpmate, and advisor. His life was an experiment, a laboratory, rich with knowledge, ideas, and imagination - how I treasured all these things about him, the many facets of who he was. The learnings and wisdom he shared with me from Arica, Vernon Howard, Milton Erickson, neuro-linguistic programming, Tony Robbins' firewalk, computers, math, psychology, science and science fiction, 12-Step programs, not to mention Monty Python's Flying Circus!

And I say to David now: Oh, the places you went, the people you loved, the things you learned. Your life was full because you gave so much and you received so much. You played the music that was inside you. I send you all of my best thoughts and prayers that they may accompany you on your journey, the other places you'll go, the continuum of the mystery we call life and death.

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