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Archive for April, 2008

Will You Still Be Here Tomorrow?

I got into an interesting conversation with a friend recently, he’s very ‘conversive’ when talking about Tibet, a topic of which I know little.  I wrote back, talking about the near impossibility of finding any sort of truly objective information, for the simple fact is we are all incluenced in one way or another by our surroundings; hence, no single interpretation of what whatever event is going on can be truly objective.

But then that led me down an interesting lane…

Really, there’s little objectivity in anyone’s life.  Every day we are alive, every thing we do in that day-from the most mundane of tasks to important decisions-has an effect, perhaps one ever so slight, on us-who we are, what our beliefs are, how we see and respond to the world around us.  The only way another person could even come close to understanding your view for that particular day would be if s/he were around you for that entire time, and even then, your interpretations would be likely to differ. 

I think that this is why the number of friends a person has tends to dwindle over time.  The people you thought would be with you forever turn out not to be because you (or they) have taken a different trajectory, and when your paths again cross, all you share are those moments from the past.  Of course, it’s fun to reminisce about the ‘good ole’ days,’ but realistically, how long is that going to last?  A few minutes?  An hour?

That’s when I thought about the possibility of being able to test whether or not a friendship is a real and lasting one, or just a passing whim.  I have two childhood friends with whom I grew up.  One lives in Seattle, and one lives in Hawaii, but in Maui.  Last year, we visited my friend in Seattle.  I had not seen her in 3 years.  Our lives now are completely different, and they have been for about the last 20 years.  The experiences that we do we share are only about things that happened when we were little.  However, when meeting with this person, it is if 20 years were only 20 minutes ago.  Only a little attention is paid to the goofy things we used to do when we were growing up.  The rest starts where it does and takes off.  It’s always been that way.  I know that years may pass before our paths cross again, but when they do, it will seem like nothing.  It’s like that with my friend on Maui as well.  Our friendship stands time’s testing.

I think about all of the people I’ve met and all the people who I really thought I would be friends with forever and ever, and how much it hurt when they went away and I felt abandoned.  Yet in this light, I can understand that was meant to be that way.  Though there was a group with whom I spent years of traveling and new them all extremely well, those days are long gone.  It would be cool to see them in a reunion type gathering for a day, but really, all we share is a specified amount of time in our past. For a friendship to survive, there has to be more; it can’t be described, it’s a sort of substance of timelessness.  Ive realized that though my handfuls of friends have whittled down to one hand (with room), these are the people who will always be there for me.  No, though they probably probably don’t understand me, and it’s likely we have very different tastes in everything from food to books, I know that these are the ones who are there for me, and I for them, until the very end.  It’s like we share a spiritual bond rather than a superficial one, something  that is greater than can be understood, and to know and feel that brings great comfort to me.