Sad morning to find out that my friend John Wilson had passed away on June 28th. I never got to share a meal and coffee or even shake his hand, but he was still my friend. We met online a few years back on the Aminus3 photoblog site that we were both active on at the time. Always willing to share his knowledge, he had a great impact on my landscape photography, and was a great encouragement to me. We had some good laughs playing tricks on Google's search engine to get his sites up to the top of the page, working it so well that we did it again when he returned to the west coast earlier this year (Google people, don't read that last sentence.)
John touched a lot of people in the Aminus3 community, making friends and spreading cheer to people all over the world, and the evidence is all over the community in the many tributes and messages posted. Even though it isn't a huge personal loss to me, his death has caused me to pause and reflect on the past couple of years in my life, as I have been doing quite a bit lately. Once upon a time, I was very active in that community, making online friends all across America and in many countries around the world. I was always amazed at the friendships that I had developed with people in Iran, a country whose people supposedly hate Americans.
What makes me even sadder than John's death is the loss of contact with so many people over the past few years as I have retreated into myself. It might be a conceited kind of thought, but when I'm gone, I want to be remembered by many people as a man that had reached out and touched people's lives and made a difference for the better. I'm trying to do that in a small way with this blog, but I know that I have a lot of work to do to achieve that goal, work both internal and external.
Isn't it wonderful that when people set aside political and religious differences to enjoy a shared interest that we can become friends and simply be human? John was an expert at simply being human, and I'm grateful that I was able to learn some lessons in that from him.
Godspeed, my friend, and save me a spot next to you watching that amazing scenery.