When I learned that Andy died, I knew I'd quite literally lost a part of my heart. It was at a grand bonfire in the Nevada desert that a magus once arranged Andy, me, and three others (whose identities I'm not at liberty to divulge) into a pentacle, intertwining our arms in a special way so that when we squeezed hands a heartbeat pulsed around and around the circle. For some timeless moments, we five were a single beating heart. (There's a Sufi doctrine that the heart has five faces, each pointed, in turn, toward the divine, the world of pure spirits, formal exemplars, the visible world, and the synthesis of the inwardly hidden and outwardly manifest.) Even before that ritual, Andy had been hanging around me a bit, shyly or perhaps covertly seeking to get a grasp on what exactly was going on with me. I know I let down some masks, but he never let on whether I revealed my true self. He was a witch masking as a magician, and he knew I was something, at the very least a fellow outsider hovering at the edge of a gathering of eccentrics in the middle of the desert. We briefly commiserated on our respective dark nights of the soul, but only later, secondhand, did I learn that Andy had recently been exiled from his coven. Andy had a maxim for how not to drown in an overwhelming flood of language: "Don't trip over the fall of letters." My own Muse took that and twisted "fall" into "Autumn": http://www.oneletterwords.com/weblog/?id=6274. And so, my heart skipped a beat when I learned that Andy died. I didn't really know him, or didn't allow myself to. As the ancient Egyptian proverb goes, "He who knows his own heart, the fate knows him."