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Today I am feeling more content than I have in a long time. One of those rare bouts of random serenity visited me this afternoon as I watered the potted plants on my deck, my feet bare, the sun on my back, kitties slumbering nearby. It had been awhile since I experienced it. That feeling sneaks up on you unaware and suddenly it’s not so much what’s happening on the outside, but more about what’s blossoming inside and filling your veins and chest with a unique, quiet calm.

Last night I drove to Los Angeles to attend a friend’s birthday dinner. It was a wonderful reunion of a group of us that’ve been close for thirty years, but who haven’t all been assembled in about a year. Life gets busy and friends scatter. But there is a particular comfort that comes from being in the company of those whom you love, accept and respect…and who feel precisely the same about you. It is reassuring to be with folks that know you better than just about anyone else in this whole wide, crazy world. Because of the history, there is a sort of shorthand–conversations flow with fewer words and more looks and gestures. The level of delight simply to be together brings easy laughter and a buoyancy to the gathering. You are collectively commemorating the passage of time and a particular friend’s birthday, but you are also rejoicing in the deep connectedness of all the people in the room.

We also realized we had come upon the twentieth anniversary of the death of one of our tribe. How quickly and fleetingly time passes. We toasted Austin with champagne and began a round of stories about him, which brought him back to life. For that evening as we shared our memories, he was with us again. At the end of a five hour night, the good-byes were long. As we lingered on the sidewalk, one friend snapped a photo of us all lined up in a long embrace, laughing. I didn’t get home to Santa Barbara until one-thirty in the morning. And it was worth every mile and minute.

I believe I have come to the place in my life where I’m becoming acquainted with satisfaction. Despite insecure finances, an uncertain future and being single, the scales weigh in my favor. In addition to my health, my happy home, my freedom and all my basic needs being met, I am loved and understood and valued. I belong to people whom I admire and esteem and who appreciate me. That’s nothing short of amazing and certainly not something to be taken for granted.

How does this relate to Silky? Well, I think it’s a universal desire by every living being to be loved. We sometimes get hung up on the who and why, but that really doesn’t matter. Silky looked to romantic love to fulfill her. She married five times looking for approval and sought acceptance from complete strangers by living a very famous, public life. And it was exceedingly glamorous but it was also at times a circus that lacked any semblance of privacy.

We all just want love and to be understood, to know we are safe and appreciated no matter our income, our status, our opinions, politics and preferences. In this currency, I am a rich woman.