11/23/10

the secret of life...

Best friends, you can never have too many of them in your lifetime. And rest assured that you will have many. It's like that poem that has circled mailboxes and inboxes for decades, detailing the cycles of friendship and life, about how and why people shuffle in and out of it. As the words go: for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Think reasons and seasons:
Childhood, high school, the good times of college, first love, first fight, work angst, vacation fun.
The span of a lifetime:
Lean on me when the world comes crashing down, rejoice with me when the sun is shining, console me from embarrassment, save me from myself.
Be here, sweet friend, be here.

In present society I find that it's just too easy to be friends. Friends, I use that term loosely. The progressive nature of technology offers countless ways to stay in touch through feeds, wall postings and status updates, allowing us to broaden our circle of acquaintances and blur the lines that separate them from our friends.

Acquaintances share a commonality, an interest but oftentimes the relationship is fleeting, temporary. Friends on the other hand are like family, members of which you have cultivated a relationship. You learn to grow with each other, in spite of one another's idiosyncrasies. You become each other's confidante, backboard, truth serum. You love one another unconditionally and without judgment. It is a natural evolution from stranger to friend, and occasionally acquaintances themselves evolve into one.

Maybe I am naive to be wistful, wishful, but I long for the days when friends were friends forever. Some may call that a myth, a childhood fancy. I believe it exists: this magic of friendship. Despite the madness and confusion of the world, I believe there are still humans out there who embrace the complexity of it; who thrive from the give and take, the nurturing; who harness, protect and defend each other from the threat of an asunder; who still practice the art of thoughtful communication. The warmth of a voice over the phone, hugs exchanged in greetings of hello/goodbye, the stories that made you laugh until you cried, memories shared through postcards, photographs (thank goodness for these), letters, phone calls, quality time, the absolute cerebral reality of being there in the moment. These timeless treasures, I feel as if they are happening less and less, were it not for my photographs I might start to believe they didn't happen at all.

The world is spinning so fast, everything has become blurry, disoriented. Even the events one relies on to connect fall flat. I recently celebrated a birthday, away from my city of origin, disconnected from a LAN/landline. I was looking forward to this day of celebration because of the phone calls and cards--concrete tokens from loved ones, family and friends. Imagine my utter disappointment when the phone (and postman) only rang twice. Every other birthday wish came noiselessly over the Internet, in email and posted to Facebook. The silence was deafening, filling my heart with a longing for another era. Era, the language of my grandparents. I'm still too young to be thinking in such terms and yet there seems no other word for it.

(quiet reflection)

These late night musings should be shared over malbec and merlot accompanied by philosophical conversations, memories, the occasional regret absolved with bittersweet chocolate and laughter.

They should not be part of a soliloquy.

~~~

"I found out what the secret to life is: friends. Best friends." - Ninny Threadgoode (Fried Green Tomatoes)
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