I’ve learned much more than I bargained for with you over these many years. People often linger and lament over the changes they’d make if they’d only known. I don’t think that describes me. Not in this circumstance. For if I made a change in the past, a different outcome would be my reality. And how might that inevitably alter what I now know today? Those are profound considerations, and it isn’t that I can’t conceptualize or envision a different ‘today’ based on a different ‘yesterday’ but more that I’m content with what I have laid out before me. Content in that I cannot know God’s plan, as much as I may beg and plead to the contrary, thus making peace with an unknown known.
I have to own my mistakes and equally, if not more so, love my triumphs.
Our friendship together has been littered with love and laughter. The tears have been few but arduous and fatiguing when present. You have to admit, some of our highs have been akin to the flight of Icarus – soaring and exquisite. But we know how that ended for him, thus explaining the lows in turn. The life experiences we have among us indicate that we could offer Pulitzer prize winning works of literature, if by no other means than putting our pen to paper. I can’t help but wonder if the world’s greatest play yet to be cast is shared betwixt us. And here we are. Apart.
We’re devoted in that we share a quality and composition of friendship too few inhabit or enjoy. For this has been a privilege I think we’re both keenly aware, and that is certainly saying something. Something immense. Oddly though, and less surprising unfortunately, is the reality. While we’re near one another in proximity we’re no longer close – rather, we’re adjacent.
When I reflect on what this means, I have yet to master it. I frequently put myself through an exercise when I can’t make heads or tails of a thing. When I’m stumped about happenstance I can’t adequately articulate, I place in motion a movie in my mind. My imaginary film contains the representations of the subject and the complication surrounding me. I literally develop a motion picture in my head, usually without words or sound. This manifestation conveys what I’m feeling in an effort to make some semblance of truth. In this way I develop a perception and appreciation for a thought previously unrealized.
When I concentrate on our obstacle, I see a man driving a car on a warm sunny day. He’s me of course, but doesn’t look like me. He has hair, so that’s a plus – there’s no reason my drama contain humor – after all I’m clearly projecting, so he’s also skinny… I’m seeing a somewhat desolate area with very little scenery – a lonely highway if you will amid a sea of gently swaying crops. I concede this scene isn’t terribly artistic or visionary, but it keeps recurring to me, so I won’t question it. This gentleman, me, is moving along at a leisurely rate in an old light blue 1960s genre car with the windows down. He appears content. I don’t notice a smile or a frown. He’s just there. I continue on for a long period of time. The silence is broken with the realization he has long crossed over the state line – I passed over some theoretical line I was completely unaware. As if he was in Nebraska, and now is 60 miles deep into Kansas, he’s no worse or better than before on one level. On yet another, things have been fundamentally altered forever. I’m in a different place now. Am I supposed to be here? How did I manage to completely miss the “Welcome to Kansas sign?” Can I go back? Should I go back. Can you join me here?
I fear that may be us. Do you think we passed over a line and didn’t even notice it?
I told you once I’d never give up on you. I hope I didn’t lie. I don’t want to have.
I don’t know what our future looks like. For the first time since our paths crossed nearly three decades ago, I find myself speculating on just exactly what our lives look like with the other omitted. This is sobering, and I’m not even drunk. There is nothing short of a profound melancholy awash over me. In truth, sorrow has stalked me for a time over this very affair. Is this the price I’m to pay for my choices? If so, nobody muttered a word of it before the investment of my ticket onto this wild ride.
What about you? You’re in this thing called “life” with me. What do you think of where we are and the method in which we arrived? There is no we without us.
The ignorant posing as the wise say, “all good things must come to an end.” The wise posing as the ignorant say, “where is that written?” What is the truth you ask? The truth is there is an eventual balance with everything. …And when there is an imbalance, it lasts a very short time before the scale is made level again. If I’m to accept your loss, I must also accept the void will be filled with something else, thus harmony of and within my scale. Harmony with Whom I wonder? Or maybe the scale isn’t mine. Rather, with my loss on one side of the scale, you lose something of commensurate weight and value in turn. I’m confused as to this.
With any scale there is equilibrium. I wonder if I can remain intact and there be a net stabilization somehow? I guess I’ll know after our lives have run their course. What I dread exposing through this contemplation is ‘we’ no longer ‘us’ as the future. And that makes me sad.
So this is me, not giving up. I’m also out of gas and I don’t know how to fix this. Maybe you could help me. Us.
PS – I miss her too. It might help to remember you aren’t the only one who lost someone near to their heart when she joined Him.