The words “Bad news” jumped out at me in my messages.  It came just as we were preparing to go on vacation in Hawaii.  Life intruded to inform me of a friend’s untimely and sudden death.  Shocked, I let the news pass through me and busied myself with packing.

News of death is becoming a more frequent visitor lately.  But this loss was so unexpected it brought home the reality of life’s precariousness.


Then, arriving in Hawaii, I spotted a rainbow,  the first of many.  Looking at first like an optical illusion, which of course it is, I watched it quickly intensify, shine brilliantly between dark clouds and ocean, and then, just as quickly, fade and disappear.  The perfect metaphor for life?

Don’t weep, insects –
Lovers, stars themselves,
Must part.

– Kobayashi Issa

Dianne Vapnek

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Susan Ward says:

    Thanks for the rainbow, I too lost a close friend this Holiday Season. I’m in the process of adjusting to the hole it has left in my life.

  • Susan Alexander says:

    Beautiful image and message. I’m so sorry for your loss, Dianne.

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