we met during a friend's jazz show in toronto years ago. in the midst of a large group of people someone introduced us. i remember thinking he was friendly and shy at the same time. later in the summer i ended up with he and two other friends at a bar playing "never have i ever" for the first time. somehow he and i managed to be the two that had never-ever'd more than the others, though he was ten years younger than me and it would seem like that'd mean i'd done so much more. later again in the same summer we ended up at an after hours dance party hosted by a woman we came to call the spider. she walked sideways and long limbed, it seemed. it was there that we danced for the first time. dancing is one of daniel's favorite things and he's studied it and practiced it for several years both for the rhythm of it and because of how it offers the chance to meet people. as that summer in toronto continued we developed a friendship that's followed us from toronto, to montreal, and all the way to denver, where he now lives. daniel's friendship is one built on calm connection and mutual care. though it started through a common interest in philosophy, and his willingness to put up with my under trained, poorly timed dancing (not to mention my obstinately (and embarrassingly) preaching philosophical points everyonce in a while), our friendship developed through his dedication to listening, his interest in personal development and spiritual openness, and his ability to laugh. daniel has a great seriousness to him. but it is a seriousness that dances in concert with his open heart. the combination is one i recognize and feel great affinity for--having lived a serious life myself, and perhaps for reasons i share in common with daniel too, i recognized in him the ways in which light-heartedness can play out through such self-reflective tendencies. it made me curious to get to know him. he reciprocated with both honest sharing of his own life history and understanding of himself, and an earnest responsiveness to getting to know me too. i've been lucky enough to take long walks with him through three excellent cities. to share good food with him in each as well. to listen to live music with him in two of them, and attend a pro-baseball game with him in the third. he also sprinted after and chased down a horse carriage for me when i expressed interest in getting a ride on one, and ordered up an al green song al fresco from a man we happened to meet singing songs on the street. and from daniel i've gotten to hear more about both the country of columbia, and the district of columbia, united states from his own experiences in both. daniel is a man with a loving heart that is also willing to live with a genuine humility. he shows such humility by freely admitting when he is still learning, and also through his ability to defer to those he sees as having experience he would learn from. in the face of major life decisions i have witnessed daniel's ability to make important change for the sake of his own highest good, even when such change has meant sacrificing previous investments and potential gains. he has faced such change with grace. daniel has also gifted me more often than he likely realizes with a sense of hope, relief, and comfort. i've been blessed with these by his ability to make contact through a simultaneity of honest self-reflection and sincere regard. in the midst of one of my loneliest times daniel happened to write me a letter that i can only describe as him sending me his own best self in brief. the truth was i'd become dispondent and a little bit hopeless. discovering that highest sense of him in the envelope changed my entire countenance and started me again on the path to believing in my own best self too. with daniel i look forward to our walks, our conversations, and the wonderful food and live music in other cities of our future.