Even the arctic has flowers. Or at least is has moss. Moss is nice.
So...so...so. The summer came and I was sandblasted by 24/7 children and my once pock marked and rusted exterior is slightly thinner, but markedly smoother and the time for self-reflection is again upon us. Hoorah!
Gentle reader, I am one tangled up string. I think I get one thing settled only to find that there are knots upon knots upon knots revealed in its place. I'm an observer, really. With everything. Happy things. Troubling things. I am over here. You are over there.
I pick events up in my mind and turn them over, regard them, and then set them aside. That's how I process what I process when I process.
Mostly, I don't process. I plough.
I plough straight through to the end and I'm done and I move to the next and plough through that too. But I don't want to plough every minute. I don't want to end up having charged through my life, like it was long endurance contest.
Sometimes, I think if I just stopped for a minute (see me through this trite moment, please) and let myself be overwhelmed by life for just a second, if I stopped resisting it, I'd get washed away. On some days, that's liberating. On others, terrifying. Life, I think, is like this puppy at our feet and it's always there. It's always lolling about all tongue and tail and tummy, feet in the air, just begging us to reach down and touch it a little. Always undaunted at how inattentive we can be and always ready for us to finally cast our gaze its way. No matter how full our arms are, how full our heads, life is always there.
Until it isn't. And by then it's too late. Because when life dies, you go with it.
All of this because I have been thinking too much today about friendship. Truly. I am very fortunate to have a few good friends, found later in my life, that I know I can count on. They mean the world to me. But I had friends before them. And it's the before friends that have been making me so damn sad.
You know how some people have a great many romantic relationships and then later miss the people they once loved, but who they haven't see in years? I never had a great many romantic relationships. I never had the chance. I met my husband - thank the Maker - when I was really quite young - 13 - and from the first moment I saw him, he was the only him I saw. That is one of the great miracles of my life because he's still the only him I see and it's been 24 years.
In lieu of having lost loves, I have lost friends. There are people from the past that I would gladly have given my life for about whom I know nothing today. Some of that is by choice. More of that will soon be by choice. It is better for me when people from the past reside on a planet far, far away. Because otherwise, I get mired down in their glittering lives and start wondering why it is we grew apart when I felt as I did about them so sincerely.
Finding people on Facebook, the high school reunion that is never merciful enough to end, is no good for me. It starts a nostalgia train that can't even begin to get out of the station because it's got no wheels. A seriously flawed arrangement.
Acquaintances, fine. I probably like you better now. But if you were ever my "best" friend and somehow you're still alive and don't know the names of my children or that I have children or that I have three children, yeah, don't really bother. Because what did it mean? My listening to you?My loving you? My helping you through all your break-ups and fuck-ups?
It certainly didn't get me anywhere. I swear I have lived my life as upright and unbending as the Washington Monument. Not because I didn't need help ever, but because I'm not programmed to show it. Even with my husband, I am not always very forthcoming until I can't be any other way. In my young life, to waver was to fall. And falling was not an option.
I don't blame anyone for this. It's not any one's fault or responsibility. I am just realizing how one-sided I made all those relationships. I guess I was somehow waiting for them to come into the vast hall I was hiding in to search me out. But how could they really? When I was playing the vacuum and they were filling the void?
So, no hard feelings. No tears and recriminations. I doubt you'll even know it. I've done been gone so long. These are my own stars constellating. In your mind's sky, the pictures are different, ever-changing. Or they would be, if you'd look up.
With my friends now, I am trying to be more open. I am trying to share more. I am trying to lean, even if ever-so-slightly. I am trying to be humble and know that everyone must depend upon someone, even the unassailable me. I am trying to show my loves, lusts and failures. And remember that I am loved. Because, and there are four of you I am speaking to, I loved you once and you took it and gave very little in return, until you grew to expect it. And your lives when I look now, are a little less gleaming because you are over there. And I am over here.