May 25, 2012

My sweet sister.

Melanie, my soul sister

I remember very clearly the day you declared that we were sisters. That I was your sister. It was so right. I felt impossibly lucky to have you say this. I loved you so much. I love you now. I will love you forever through time, space and dimensions unknown yet.


I met you on that fateful morning on the LA mountains, it was the day I had arrived in California for the second time on my journey. Looking at the map, I had picked the road with most zig zags and it took me to  one of the most fateful mornings of my life.


There suddenly was a massive amount of sport bikes all gathered in one spot.   I pulled over and approached a couple standing close to the road : “What is going on here?” I asked.   These two were Steve and Sunny. Those who have followed this blog know plenty about Steve and Sunny. Steve then introduced me to Melanie as a fellow motorcycle adventuress.  She had just finished herself a trip around the american continent on a Triumph named Bruce.


I loved you immediately.  You radiated a sort of peace, poise, all this wrapped in gentleness. We chatted, and then at one point she said with a noticeable emphasis : “If you ever need ANYTHING, call me.”  Here is the photo of that day, the moment of us meeting. She stands there, so strong, so calm, mythic.

the day we met on the mountain

A number a weeks later, my Suzuki gave up the ghost, I was near Joshua Tree on my way back from Death Valley and Las Vegas.  I remembered her words and I called her.   I got a ride back to Los Angeles courtesy of my ever dependable AAA membership riding a flat bed truck, me in the cab, the bike tied solidly onto the back of the truck along with two other cars. He dropped us off in a dark alley somewhere in LA at the location where the mechanic’s shop was supposed to be, it was too dark to tell.

I was filthy exhausted, kind of heart broken over the dead bike. I walked back to the main road and waited for Melanie.   I was standing under a street light wearing leathers, filthy, bikeless, covered in road grime, bike grease and flattened bugs and two days of camping grime when they pulled up, it could have been the picture of utter defeat, when Melanie and her husband Ozzy pulled up to the curb.

I was standing there holding my saddle bags and gear. They drove a beautiful black car with white interior. I was embarrassed to sit on the pristine leather of the back seat. They were both smiling, warm, they greeted me with such humanity. They gave me a bed and a roof, it was going to be until the bike was repaired….

Oh Melanie, to see you shine. So creative, always exploring new ideas, new worlds, you were a wonder to behold.   With me are all those conversations over gorgeous food, generous servings of laughter, talks of motorcycles, life, red necks, Gothic worlds and everything in between.

I admire the care you took to live every second of life to its fullest. To be so in the moment. I admire your creative mind, you are a master artist at art and at life.  Like the gusto with which you manifested your book among other things.

I loved walking with you, watching you cook, wathcing you catch the thread of an inspiration as you plunged into books and magazines hungry for beautiful, inspiring things. I love to see your mind taking off at full gallop.

I remember the trip to Arizona for the bead show, I remember celebrations after the Klatch performances with Forrest. I remember your indestructible support for my music. I remember the care packages you sent to Nashville, they had been put together with such attention, love… I remember your calligraphy, the care you took to chose the perfect card, then chose the words then write those words… I remember laughing at Isabel that one night, how much we laughed. Thank you for giving me some of the very best days of my life.

the gang of bead masters in Tuscon

We made a “to do” list of cool things we had to see together. I found it a little while ago, still hoping I could get some of those done with you…   But my hopes floundered. Then I floundered. And I never managed to get back to San Dimas in time to catch you and I didn’t even manage to say goodbye or thank you for all the goodness, love, acceptance you brought into my life.

My sister, my dear soul sister… I hear you left us in a peaceful way. Now the Gods get to wear the most luscious jewels of beads of gold, bones, feathers and the most impossibly intricate designs ever seen.   I love you. Love you forever. And ever. And ever.


things of beauty and wonder


4 Responses to “Melanie”

  1. bobskoot Says:


    death is so finite. the future is more uncertain than we know. Unfinished dreams, unfinished plans, things that we should have done, people to visit . . . but didn’t. It’s too bad life and setbacks interfere and we trudge along doing what we have to do to survive. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t get a chance to make that one last visit but of course, we didn’t know that it was to be the last . . .

    she will live within your heart and in your memories. I too am saddened that I didn’t have the opportunity to share her friendship.

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  2. Asbjorn Aka Ozzy Says:

    Wow.. beautiful words.

    I know my wife was special to you. Don’t fret the “I didn’t get to see her one more time”. Don’t worry. She’s taking visitors later in the next dimension.

  3. Charlotte Says:

    Danielle… a very fitting tribute. I knew when I met you both how special your connection was, and that will never change.

    Any form of true love does not diminish with time, and is not bound by the flesh… this I do know.

    I am really hoping we can all meet in LA soon to have a good cry and a good laugh and remember our friend Melanie.


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