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  • "So, so you think you can tell
    Heaven from Hell,
    Blue sky's from pain.
    Can you tell a green field
    From a cold steel rail?
    A smile from a veil?
    Do you think you can tell?

    And did they get you to trade
    Your heroes for ghosts?
    Hot ashes for trees?
    Hot air for a cool breeze?
    Cold comfort for change?
    And did you exchange
    A walk-on part in the war
    For a lead role in a cage?

    How I wish, how I wish you were here.
    We're just two lost souls
    Swimming in a fish bowl,
    Year after year,
    Running over the same old ground.
    And how we found
    The same old fears.
    Wish you were here."

    By Roger Waters and Jon Gilmour, Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here"

    I do – wish you were here. I wish we were still friends. You were the best of what was left - we’d bled inside each others wounds, we’d enjoyed life’s wildest passions, celebrated a level of success, shared some crazy dreams, grieved the death of our closest friend, pulled each other through it all – and then I had to leave. There was a little problem I had to tend to. It was me, not you. But, I couldn’t do it, not here. I had to go – there. I had to leave you behind. I had to get well. I had to travel through hell. Had to tend to the wounds that I’d picked up during my walk-on part in my war, so I could finally escape that cage of my own creation.

    And now, life beckons me back – back to this place. Brought here by a brother, called here by a yearning, held here by a love, grown here by a hope, a thirst for healing, an impossible dream calling, whispering, nudging, infiltrating, drawing me back in, back to the beginning, back here, and held here by a love.

    What were the odds – a million to one? You always knew I liked the long shot bets. We’d get you out to the middle of America, come hell or high water or a rich man’s son, we’d do what it took to spring you from hell, and we did, we got you out, and you found love, and life took it from there, and you thrived.

    Meanwhile, back in hell, I did what I could, struggled with it, wrestled with it, wrote about it, helped write a book about it, then got out and found another book, that opened the gates, of the pearly type, and life got good, better than ever, richer, deeper, sustainable, full and alive, with life’s richest blessings, that led me back here, back to hope, with depth, with love, with new friends opening doors to old friendships.

    Opening the door, I peak inside, and hold my breath – anyone home?

    Oh, how I do – how I wish you were here.
  • "And if you go forward, I'll meet you there
    And if you climb up through the cold, freezing air
    Look down below you, search out above
    And cry out to life for a frozen love
    Cry, love"

    by Stevie Nicks, from Buckingham Nicks' "Frozen Love"
    Photos: 1. Cover Illustration of Pink Floyd's album, "Wish You Were Here". I was on my first ship when it came out. The album came with a postcard inside, with this same picture on it. One of my Connecticut friends sent that postcard to me on my ship. 2. Davide Ragusa, c/o
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