|A message from Alex.|
Some time in the last 10 years, I went into the proverbial "broom closet." This was not so much a conscious decision, but rather an unconscious response to changing social & geographical conditions -- an adaptation if you will. I did not work very hard to foster relationships, nor did I feel particularly motivated to extend myself very much to others.The result has been that the friendships I have established since that time generally lack depth. This is what I would call a net loss.
At one time, I had friends around me of all persuasions. We did not agree, but we shared mutual affection & respect. We could talk. We could argue. We could share ideas & opinions without pussyfooting. We never withheld the subtext, or if we did, there was a reason -- something to be revealed later, at a better time. More importantly, I felt & still feel like we have an understanding, a sincere understanding. There is a bond that I cannot articulate, a sympathy that extends beyond the temporal. Dissimilar as we are, these people know me.
Friendships like these span the seasons; they ride 'round the Wheel without losing quality. These relationships reach across the miles like tiny threads, keeping us connected without words, without voices, without contacts -- sometimes for many years. These are the bonds that cause me to use up my camera's memory on Halloween night, recording the songs of wolves in the dark, instead of photographing children during trick-or-treat. These are the friendships that make me ache for that old minimum-wage job, simply so I could slice cheese & banter about theology just a little bit longer.
I miss this kind of association. I miss these people. But, I cannot go out across the land & harvest them all to me, bringing them near & keeping them close. Were it even possible, I wouldn't. They are part of their own environs, they have their own ecosystems & they belong there.
Can I begin to foster friendships like these anew? Will friendships already years old suffer or prosper if I approach them with candor? Do secrets lessen the opportunity for honesty over time? What parts will motherhood, seasonal migrations & cultural climates play? How will my new found Pagan community factor into my hopes for deeper relationships? Only time will tell, but it seems to me the potential losses cannot be any greater than the present emptiness I feel now. I am aiming for net gain.