Saturday, March 07, 2009

meaningful touchstones

Spending time with a special friend from your past who holds similar endearing memories seems to be more of a rarity as we age. Time, distance, overall busyness and other responsibilities we have commited to hold our lives hostage and away from the people we consider crucial to the make-up of our personal story. Funny, these are the reasons why we do need to make an effort to reconnect. Plus, special friends make you feel whole again.

It is so easy to float away into the blur of doing. We all have unending to do lists that if left to take control and lead our shortening days, can very quickly strangle the very essence of who you are. If we remain in the realm of always and dutifully playing the roles we assume in our daily routines.....partner, mom, daughter, worker, sister, driver, volunteer, neighbour, cook, cleaner, helper, hostess, counsellor, advocate, window washer, doer, doer, doer ....... we lose our core being. It just evaporates. Well, maybe its just that the spritzing in our essence takes a long hiatus under the masks of our own making. I don't know about you, but when I feel this floating unanchored feeling, I know I'm in need of being realigned by a touchstone in my life.

I remember when I was backpacking through Europe years ago with a friend. This was before technology took over our ways and means of communicating...of touching base. There were no avenues for instant messaging. We didn't have the opportunity to say we were one finger touch away. When you travel like that, there is a wonderful sense of being only responsible for yourself. There is a taste of freedom in the days while exploring newness with your eyes and ears and heart. It is a balm for unleashing one's potential and for stretching your boundaries. New people you meet along the way in what seems like happenstance but in truth are unmistakably fateful.....whom you share big moments together....the ones you know will be with you for the rest of your life as a stoptime exhilaration. Adventures are like that....both mind FULL and mindful.

For four months, everyday was like that. And every single night, I made an attempt to capture it in my journal and in letters to family and friends who were at home. It kept the homesickness at bay...the feeling of belonging and not free floating from one experience to another was somehow assuaged by this act. However, about every 2 or 3 weeks, I would wake up with this unbelievable need to call home. I had to alleviate a more intense urgency to make sure everything was fine, but also to ensure myself that it was real. I needed a good spritzing. Once that happened, I was good to go.

Yesterday two special friends met again. We caught up on each other's lives, shared a few new dreams, and strolled back to a time when we were in each others lives deeply. Our rambling untethered conversation (the very best kind) ran the gamut of emotions just like it should....just like it needs to if a it is a truly golden friendship. Its what a good spritzing of one's essence feels like. Meaningful, mindful........meaning FULL and mind FULL and almost enough to keep you afloat until the next time.

I just wish the next time wasn't so unknown....or far away......

Touchstones from our own stories bring life and purpose to our unfolding daily gaze. Touchstones give us the fortitude to step out again with our backpacks on in order to forge ahead into the mystery of a new day. Why? Because inside their essence is an unabiding unconditional love for you....and inside your newfound essence is an unabiding unconditional love.
Expressed, felt, known in the comfortable grace nestled between the words, it fills you with a nourishment you can only find when you connect with a person whose tapestry includes some of your own....those threads which glisten with love. And you know what? You can climb any mountain carrying a heavy knapsack if you know you are fondly loved.


kenju said...

I think that is why I love my high school reunions so much. Just being around those with whom you shared a history is wonderful. I am in contact with 7-10 of my friends from that time, but there is nothing like seeing them all together to warm by heart.

Unfortunately, my college evokes none of that in me.

Scarlet said...

Back in January I was able to re-connect with such a person ....
It was incredible! I hadn't seen him but twice in the last 15 years, and neither of those times we were able to just 'be'.
We were able to just pick up like were back in 1990! lol

It's amazing how just that little bit of connection to someone who knows me so intimately can energize and rejuvenate.
We should take more of an effort to keep such people closer .... and I intend to do just that.

I'm so happy you were able to do the same. :)

Gilly said...

I'm sad now that I have lost touch with all my friends from school and college and most from later days. Wish I had stood out more for keeping up with them by visits in the face of unsociableness. But we had no telephone in those days (we are talking nearly 50 years ago!!) and letters seemed hard to get written.

My fault, I know. Its sad.

Awareness said...

Judy....there's nothing like a reunion full of comraderie and good laughs! It surely does warm the heart. Mine have all tied in with the camp I attended as a camper and counsellor. I've never had the interest to go to any others, though I'm in touch with a handful from high school and university days, the reunions tend to be one on one.

Scarletina....My afternoon just recently was with a special person just like yours....our paths cross very limitedly though its always like we have just picked up the thread where we left off....i love that.
You're so right about the energy too eh? It somehow puts things in perspective and it helps shift me enough to carry on....backpack and all.

Gilly...Facebook and the internet has been a blast for that reason. I too had lost touch with most people in my past for a very, very long time because i had moved away and basically put my head down to plough ahead carving out my life with my young family. It was actually through a reunion I attended at my summer camp which I purposefully went to (and was terrified because it had been WAY too long) that kick started things. Right after that, a website was established where all of the Kawabi kindreds posted stories and feelings and beautiful updates etc.....threads of amazing conversations began and we all caught up and have since stayed connected. It had been 25 years in between then and now.
A few of my closest old roomies from University days are now in touch on facebook...our silliness and the ability to crack each other up continues there. what is so amazing is how it only takes one ridiculous line from me or one of them and we're off to the races laughing over's like we transported the running joke into the present.

then there's my blog....and a few good dear friends are in touch with me here.

I would strongly recommend finding your way to reconnect with them. It has been well worth the effort for me.

Anonymous said...

am in the same boat as Gilly

I am in touch with no-one from my past, no-one i grew up with - the only person i have any idea about was my best friend when i was about 5 or 6, and that's only because he lives next door but one to my parents - and still we don't keep in touch

hmmmm, what does all that say about me?

Awareness said...

paul...i guess it depends on whether you want to be in touch with them or not as to what this says of you.
when my children were as young as your wee ones, i wasn't in touch with anybody from my past except the odd path crossing when we would travel back to our childhood homebase for Christmas. I had let all of them float off into the nether regions...even my friends from camp. I wasn't in touch with any of them except for one person (and ironically, he is in a different "place" now and not in touch...hopefully this will change in time...)
like you, as an adult, i don't live in the same vicinity as i did as a kid. this makes it especially tricky. and my lifestyle, interests, pursuits etc are very different and play a role in the connections (or lack thereof) with old friends.

so.....what does that mean? You're in a different place in spirit, mind and body and whether you will be in touch in the future depends on destiny and curiosity and desire I guess.

Walker said...

OK Now I just commented on a post about faurness and it's all gone now.
I know its freaky monday and all and I just work up but I swear there was a post about fairness. Really thee was.
I got to stop drinking orange juice or start adding vodka to it.

I think one of the most important parts of life is the friends we make along the journey.
I am lucky as i have friends close by that we can hook up and remember some of the insanity.
Find out youth once more even though the bones would cry if we did what we did back then.
In some way those friends along with those memories remind us that we did live and did something even if it was just a small thing

Awareness said...

why walker!

The fairness post is you have probably figured out. I just pulled it to add to it. It's one of those posts i keep thinking of more i want to write about.

friends....yes, what would we do without them.

Brother David said...

I needed this one today - thank you.
My doings list is over full and they are all at the top (to be done today, if not sooner) yet at this time; I need to be closer to folk. Lent is a strange time, which should be of inward preperation but seems to require a whole lot more.

Awareness said... looks as though you're going to have to multi-task. :) inwardly and outwardly at the same time.
I hope you get a chance to slow the pace a bit soon.

I was in Toronto the other day...had just dropped off my husband and son and was on my way to meet a friend. I had a few extra minutes as I drove past the downtown cathedral. There just happened to be a parking spot right at the front. So, I spontaneously pulled over and stepped inside....

It was wonderful....quiet comtemplation in the middle of the day when the whole world outside was busy, busy....

I stayed for about 20 minutes, cleared my head, calmed my body and said a little prayer.