I found out this evening, amongst wine and poetry and hugs from old friends/fellow writers, that our professor, mentor, father figure, inspiration, guide, heartthrob, and friend Sekou Sundiata, passed away two days ago.
Heartbroken, yes, but he would be so so proud of what we'd gathered to do, in his honor, without evening knowing of his death.
Last week, and then earlier today, I'd walked a place he and I used to run into each other often. Last week, I smiled to myself, his face in my mind and memories of the way he took me under his wing my first year in this city. How years later, he would use a piece of my writing to teach his classes. We laughed so much. Today, this feeling came over me. Concern, I guess. And love, of course. I thought of writing him. He'd been so sick but so able to inspire us to live.
I will miss him. I wanted to tell him he was still teaching me, and I was teaching now.I wanted to thank him.
Such a strong, bright light.
Here's an article from the Washington Post. And NPR's tribute.