I lost my friend Peter Lytle this weekend

July 26, 2009

I was suppose to have lunch with Peter today. When he didn’t call. I simply thought well he must have gotten caught up in one of his many and varied projects. He does that from time to time and it is perfectly OK with me. It worked both ways with Peter – he called me late one Friday afternoon last fall and said, “What are you doing?” The next thing I know we are heading for his Island up in northern Wisconsin. The next day he said lets go for a drive and off we went to Madeline Island to go scootering the rest of the day. He and I would talk about how we want to change the world – with Peter he wanted to teach the world about how we are destroying the environment. He was not one to simply proselytize uninterested people he would do things that would draw you in and then you would be hooked. He built one of the worlds greenest houses and lived in it. Then he would take everyone who wanted to tour it through it. It never seemed to bother him giving tours of his home – I think it was because he was changing the world one person at a time. And then he built his portal Livegreenlivesmart.com to let people self discover how they can do what he did. He seemed to always be writing and doing research.

Peter and I shared a passion for business, the environment, behaviorial economics, a thirst for education of ourselves and others, and mostly we cared about people. Because of what we had in common our conversations would take us in every direction imaginable – And the depth of our conversation was grand.

Peter would tell me how friends would call with problems and he would help them even when it was clear he had enough on his plate. He valued his friends and his family and just loved speaking of them. He loved life and he packed things in – he was not one for stillness.

Peter Lytle was more than a friend he was a mentor. I will miss him dearly. I would stop by his office and interrupt him all the time – he always welcomed my spontaneous interruptions – I loved him for that….

Who are you going to have lunch with tomorrow – celebrate your time together it is short!

Mary Oliver is a favorite poet of mine and I thought this was very fitting of Peter’s passing..

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

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