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Harriet Ling, LMBT


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Office Location
205 Lloyd St., Suite 203
Carrboro, NC  27510

I also work on location - your office or home.





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One Big Love

Since 1982, the West Virginia Turnpike has often been my own personal Trail of Tears, and this past Sunday was no exception.  I was traveling home to North Carolina after attending the memorial service of an old friend in Chillicothe, Ohio, spending much of the seven-hour drive reflecting on the connections made during the nineteen years I’d lived there. 

I first drove up that stretch of road thirty years ago to attend class at The Recording Workshop and discover the world of music production.  Eight months later I moved to Chillicothe and joined the Workshop family.  Most of us were transplants, migrating to this remote factory town to work at a unique little world-class school of audio engineering.  All of us, from the office staff to the instructors and techs, shared a passion for the making of music and a genuine excitement over each others’ successful ventures, and we spent our twenties as each others’ families, working together, playing together, taking care of each other, playing pranks on each other, going on the road together...  “The formative years.”  We had a bond unlike anything I’ve experienced since, and much of last Saturday was spent talking about just that with others who had come back to celebrate the life of Jim McKell.

Many of us had stayed in touch via phone calls, email, facebook, facetime, texting, skype, occasional cards, the grapevine... until now, when we needed the real thing.  The actual touching.  So we traveled hundreds of miles from our various current states, and we filled the church, the cemetery, the Cross Keys, our glasses and our hearts. We spent all day hugging each other, hugging hello, goodbye, glad to see you; we hugged to give and get comfort, we hugged just because it’s been too long.  We gathered to remember a life, because our memories are what’s left of him. 

But it turned out not to be just about one friend’s leaving, but about hugging away all the years of life we’ve endured.  We’re all survivors, until we’re not.  We’ve survived jobs, no jobs, parties, moves, marriages, divorces, our parents, our children, cancer, heart attacks...  We all survive until we don’t any more.  And then we still survive through those who remember us.

 As much as we mourn the loss of a kind and gentle and well-loved friend, as mad as we are at him for leaving too soon, here’s hoping we will recognize and honor this reminder to focus our time and energy not on resisting death, but on embracing life.  And embracing each other while we can.

Godspeed, Jim.


Harriet Ling  

12/12/12 (testing, testing)





Reader Comments (3)

Hello Harriet,
Your name is a blast from the past. Jim and I graduated in the same class of high school. Your blog is beautiful. Thank you, gives so much comfort.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSheilah gray

perfection. I love you


December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Gray

Sheilah! Thank you! Great to hear from you.

Kathy ~ Great Big Love to you!!

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHarriet
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