“The only way to have a friend, is to be one.”
—— Ralph Waldo Emerson
So much has changed. So many things seem to have not changed at all. When you live halfway around the world from where you grew up and went to school, it’s hard to tell. My friends here haven’t seen me in over seven years.
Two of my friends are talking with each other. They have a real close connection and see each other pretty regularly, but it’s been a while now since one of them has been occupied with a new baby. They’re catching up and I’m listening.
With one of these two (the one I came with) I really don’t have much more to say now. We’ve already spoken of my current job, my health, how happy I am now that I’ve found a place to live where I feel truly at home… my relationship status, even a bit about current events. I am so very grateful to this friend who has always been gracious and welcoming. I can count on her. She’s the most solid friend I have here.
In this part of the world.
The other friend (the one we are here to see) may be more open to a deeper conversation but we won’t have time for that and besides… that would be something for us to talk about alone. I go into a brief version of all the above stuff I’ve already caught up on with the friend who brought me here.
The friend we are here to see looks at me and I can feel our connection. I’m very close friends with his brother as well, and so is the friend who brought me here. We are all connected but there is this odd disconnect.
The disconnect is mostly about time and distance. It’s an odd feeling because despite the disconnect of time and distance, the core connection is still there. One might say that this core connection is about history, but it’s more than that.
There is an intention at play here.
Seven years ago (last time I was here) I just tried to see as many friends as I could in the time I had. I saw a lot of people and felt the same inadequate attempt at connection with every one of them. The visits were so short, there was no time to do more than catch up. It felt more like obligation than intention.
I’m not doing that this time.
This time, I’m spending significant time (time enough even to perhaps get on each other’s nerves a bit) with only a few friends. I have to choose and although I have very warm feelings for all the others (and I’ll of course be happy when I happen to see them) I’m sure I won’t see as many.
This is the consequence of my intention.
Tomorrow, I will be seeing many of these friends. I hope the weather holds and I’ll get to see as many as possible. If not… I tried and I will be at peace with that.
But there is a good chance that everything will go well enough and according to plan. I’ll get to have fun reconnecting with a bunch of these friends. We will play music, eat, drink and perhaps dance a bit. We will talk of all the above stuff and more, about life, love, beauty and art.
All this and so much more.
That’s the intention anyway….