ne of my long-standing companions on this life's journey has been Erik. His Freek name was "Innate Freek," he was lead guitarist for George and the Freeks when I ran into that band at Notre Dame, and I met him through Mark, the first of the Freeks with whom I became friends.
I had no idea that this group of slightly younger, undergraduate musicians I met would spark an entirely unexpected chapter in my life, a second Notre Dame experience distinct from my first two years there in graduate school among graduate students, but a chapter without which my life would be so much more impoverished than it became.
The next school year, through kind of a (retrospectively) comical mistake where Erik and I both thought the other was reaching out and initiating more of a friendship than either of us intended, we had dinner and hours of walking around the lakes together, and a sudden friendship did in fact blaze up. Singing together in the Notre Dame Folk Choir, getting hired by the Freeks to do sound, bringing forth my own music, both becoming teachers and returning to grad school, travels together in Rome, Tunisia, Geneva, Venice, Florence and New England – it's been a long and rich friendship over the past 15 years.
Just a few weeks ago, Erik, now a psychologist among other things, appeared on a Boston area public access television show dealing with art and therapy. There he performed some music long familiar to me, opening with "A Love Song," a piece of music rooted in the circumstances of his life we were talking about during that first evening walking around the lakes at Notre Dame at the beginning of the fall semester of 1995. He then engages in a conversation with the host about psychology, art, and spirituality – articulating several years of thinking about the various forces that had been churning inside of us back in those days, and which produced such a fruitful musical outpouring by those of us at Notre Dame in those years. It was kind of grand to hear all of that put together in a venue like this, and to hear some of Erik's more mature reflection on the process.
Mercifully for me, since I don't get Boston public access television easily in New Orleans, the session was available online, and I leave it here, for anyone interested in such things.