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About Friendships… NM

Friday, November 9th, 2018

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the World to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of Friendship, you really haven’t learned anything”
~ Muhammad Ali ~

Yes- No-

A tall cup of coffee every morning and the routine, if we have to call it that, of writing is still present after 14 years… and one day! Yesterday was should we call it a “landmark”? It feels good to unscrew this mind’s lid and let the encased thoughts take shape into words, paragraphs and pages. I am finding the contents enormous. I found it as such when last week searching for photos of Spirit when I wrote how I rescued him as also how he rescued me. I had forgotten we had been there or there! Each page was a surprise reliving not only the photos but the so many daily details my memory was able to relive. With close to 1000 pages now it would take me weeks, most likely months, to stroll down memory lane. But, what a lane!!! I don’t think at the time I fully realized the magnitude of the Journey. There was nothing else but “that” Journey. Spirit and I as one daily just trekking, finding spaces to spend the night while sometimes staying a week or a month or even more as I remember while being in Halfway, Oregon, or Escalante, Utah, when the price of fuel went up too high for us to ride every day while peanut butter and jelly and bread from the day [s!] old outlet was my three meals a day. Walking to town while camping on the outskirts was much more doable.

The -Prayer- at Thanksgiving B & W

I only have one big regret. It is not being able to stay in touch with Friends. So many jumped that partition from acquaintance to Friend as I do differentiate such status. Many we had been to their home, some with whom we camped together or as it has happened a few times just bumped into each other by Life’s faith! The main culprit is time. As much as I would like to I would need a few secretaries if staying in touch was going to happen. I think often about them as it is nice to go back in time and again relive those moments we had together and if not together, the words exchanged in emails. Some, very few, we even talk or correspond once a year. We generally can pick up where we have left off ignoring the courtesies of non important aspects while getting right down to the core of our present lives. Some have changed directions, meaning vanished from any correspondence we could have. There is no fault on any one, it just is Life. Many are married, got married, busy with their children, often two to three jobs, going to school, all meaning they have their own lives and their time is more constrained than mine. Being single as I am makes a huge difference while even single and now without even a dog I have a hard time finding moments to take care of this and that, even myself. Retired is another dimension as if the speed of time has suddenly accelerated. How ironic!

Counting change

Being single however brings on more of a brouhaha than one might think. These pages are also “me” and I would not survive without them. I want to say, there is no one to talk to and when there is, well, that can get very complicated surprisingly as I have experienced. I am not much of a conversationalist about the weather or if your car’s brakes are holding up! I can only do five minutes of that. My closest Friends are also ones that have had big loses in their lives, they are the only ones I can talk to about and vice versa. We understand each other, we can pronounce those too often taboo words. We can take refuge in each other’s thoughts and feelings of the moments or the ones we experienced yesterday and earlier times. We comfort each other, we laugh, we cry, we chock on some of the memories, we are two voices but truly only one. We can pat each other on the back because we have together come so far away from the tragic past when even then a smile only brought up a guilty feeling. Someone sent me a photo a couple days ago which had written on “The only people who think there’s a time limit for grief have never lost a piece of their Heart. Take all the time you need”. The words are right on point.

The Cowgirl 

Adding all these components to a bag and shaking it does make Friendships somewhat difficult. My priorities have moved as from one planet to another. Is it “selfish”? My interests are often not of common ones and rudely can I say that I don’t care if your hair is out of place or if it is the day your dog is driving you crazy? Can I look at one more cheeseburger you had for lunch? Maybe it is. Can I say I don’t want even to hear it as what is its value compared to the grief I am still going through? None in my own thoughts. But… maybe a true Friend should listen, understand and accept where it is coming from even if trivial but not to the other. It is indeed “selfish”. Yes, it is. It is especially when such Friend realizes it and apologize and myself with time my own demure calms down because identically I also have those moments and on, with time, all is again all well. I call it a “hiccup”…

Doug 

Yet, more than the above, and it took me a while to realize such as I almost laugh about it now, is what I call when communicating with another single Friend comparing us starving for conversation and the second that phone line opens up it is as we are lined up at this smorgasbord of thoughts, of words, and neither of us can shut up while even worse, not even listening to each other but already thinking ahead what “my” story is going to be, when will a pause happen so I can take over totally obliterating the incoming words I don’t too often even hear… It is true and sad I must say! It is when that realization happens “hilarious” [but not really in a ‘funny way’”] and I must admit being guilty as much as my opponent [in this case!] while it takes some training to chew on the conversation one bite at the time especially with open ears and a shut mouth.

Spirit on the Beach 

I think dearly about my Friends. I am always happy for them when Life approaches them with positive actions and yet sometimes I think after my long monologues how can they even listen to me! Bla, bla, bla it goes on and on. It is a new grill, an added wall for the carport, my Mountains and here I thought I didn’t do banal conversations but the results prove the contrary. I am Human [most of the times!] and I guess what I might think about myself is often not the true reality as my conversations proves it. I do talk about the weather, I do talk about this new car a Friend bought and I even talk about a car that is now gone and sold. I am just fooling myself wanting a reality which does not exist and probably only disagree to disagree instead of my motto which is “agreeing to disagree”. More irony…

The San Dunes B&W

Luckily, certain altercations amongst true Friends is repairable when we realize what is taking place, talk about it as mature people should and know that we need to try better because Friendships are our saving accounts in our lives. There is nothing more precious than that ability of understanding each other, to feel for each other and above all raise our level of patience. My turn, his turn, her turn, all will come with time and even if a story told a month ago repeats itself, well, again patience as it happens. With humor I call it “senility”!!!  Maybe next time I am on the phone I will next to me have a roll of duct tape… You know why! Listening is an Art.

the woman and her cat 

Stay well,
               Ara and Spirit



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