I'm re-using this post. I wrote it January 28, 2008 on another site. I re-read a few of my old posts this evening & this one struck me. I want to remember it. An ode to 4 of my best friends. Yes, I have four bestest friends:
The sum of life. Take away stories. What will you take away with you when life is over & you go, well, wherever it is that you go. Big or small, simply defining, euphemistic (<-- I may have just made that up, not sure : ) epiphanies that will carry on, possibly forever. Chicken soup, basically. But in real life. As I sat, listening to each take away story, I pondered my own story for the day. The obvious take away for me at that moment was just being there, no judgements, no opinions, just open people looking for the same. They don't know my life story, they don't have opinions on my endless stupidity. At the same time, they don't know the joy & meaning that my "ground zero" friends & family have brought into my life.
Back in September, one of my best friends got married. Funny story, as there is to all wedding days, but in essence a wholesomely wonderful day. My speech to her was about our friendship, and the friendship llama, and how it represented the silly, often over looked things in life that often become our defining moments. Our glory & time to shine, even if temporarily overlooked & unrecognized.
Years ago I shared a bottle of strawberry wine under an overpass in the park. It was, well, something of a "life lesson" so to speak, and yet today her & I can talk about that moment with laughter. The moments of pure rage when my one & only stuffed animal almost became decapitated. When I slam full force into reality & she is standing there beside me, helping me up and shaking her head in disbelief that I managed to do it AGAIN. And still, she is beside me, as I search for myself & she searches for her wings. ; )
High school basketball, our freshman year, class misfits, both from other schools yet we bonded together & pulled each other through four years of "hell school". Thousands of hours jogging through trails & trying to get her to curb her profanities when our principal is standing over her glaring. The chewed up licorice on her leg, just because it made her laugh & I have no problem doing whatever it takes when I'm on a "cheer-up" mission. The high school dances, running for the car after the worlds worst karaoke performance of Mariah's "butterfly." The track meets, the ball games, the concerts, the snowy days & the tears.
The other woman. The "past" that really isn't the past, but actually the present & in an ironic twist, forever the future. The harsh words & the two-way stalking in time became a bf4life. UPIC, forever & a day. That one person can bring you so much pain & yet sooth so many burning scars, that in itself is not only a miracle, but a terrific take away story. Tears shed together, lives opened up. Believe in reality, not stories or lies.
Endless take away stories. How do you meld them into unforgettable memories? How do you make sure they are not replaced to make room for the "new" take away stories? By recording them. Writing them. Sharing them. That is the essence of life: sharing. Complicated or not. What's life if not complicated?
So dive, head first, into the current regardless of sputtering. The take away stories will be your life jacket. The authors & characters of your stories will be there with you.
On the shore line waving to you.
On the rafts surrounding you.
On the raft with you.
4 months ago