There seems to be a reasonable consensus among cosmologists that our universe originated in an event known popularly as the Big Bang in which space-time appeared and expanded, not from a single point outwards but from all points simultaneously.
Many people experienced Chris as just such an expansive force of nature: her restless intellectual curiosity combined with her open-hearted joie de vivre were infectious. In her presence, you could escape the gravitational pull of your own self-imposed limitations. I would say, along with many others, that I am a more caring and creative person, a bigger person, and I hope a better person, as a result of our relationship.
The question I asked myself this morning as I lay in bed, was how do I keep on expanding, now that she has gone? Without her example constantly before me, it’s a real challenge to keep moving and growing, to look to the present and the future as well as to the past. At my lowest ebb, when I’m feeling abandoned and alone, I want to shrink until I disappear.
But, I know that it would be a betrayal of all that she stood for, to fix this moment in my mind as the apogee of my life and do nothing or, worse still, either willfully or by neglect, to allow my universe to contract. So I do what she taught me: I delve into my writing to live more generatively and creatively; connect as best I can with the folk in our various tribes; and try to do “good” work in the world.
And there are still some bright stars in the firmament who invite me to join them in the cosmic game, encourage me to believe that life is still worthwhile, and insist that I don’t play small.
Without them I would indeed be lost.