"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Life is Defined By How We Touch Each Other
fel·low·ship Function: noun
Date: before 12th century
1 : COMPANIONSHIP, COMPANY
2 a : community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience b : the state of being a fellow or associate
3 : a company of equals or friends
4 : Something I very much enjoy being a part of.
Well, as I expected no co-workers came to my party. That's OK, I still had a blast. They missed a good time.
Imagine that, having a birthday party at 44, and I have not had one since I was maybe six. Even though I told everyone not to, they all brought presents. Note to self, do this every year (big grin). And make sure I invite the lady that brought the jerk chicken!!!
I was uncomfortable before the party. I kept thinking 'What if no one comes?' I find myself lacking confidence many times since my hospitalization six months ago (Has it really been that long?) I don't know why this is, but I think it has something to do with myself feeling somehow "lessened" by my experience. When people accept me as friend it goes a long way to help that. When people want to share a pleasurable moment with me, I take that as a high complement. And I think that it is intended to be.
Even if they are, in my wife's words, "goofy" people. I mention that because her mother came to stay with us for several days last week. We call her Nana. She's 80 years old and still kicking hard, so I gotta hand it to her, but my goodness she lives life off the deep end!
We live a long ways from her now so her visits are rare, but I spent ten years living down the street from her. I will never forget one day returning home after a very stressful day at work, pulling up in my driveway, and hearing LOUD ragtime music blaring from my house. Not wanting to subject my head to it right away, I walked into the back yard and peered through one of my windows. There in all her flamboyant glory was my mother in law to be and my soon to be wife, wearing styrofoam pith helmets, holding broom handles like canes, and dancing the Charleston for all they were worth.
I stayed right there in the back yard for at least a half hour and let them dance. Like I said, she's goofy. And it was a lot quieter.
Now understand, I don't really MIND goofy. I've been known to do some goofy things myself on many occasions. And on purpose too. What I don't like is that there is a sense of "diva" that seems to run through her goofiness. She reminds me of Carol Channing on speed. It always boils down to "Look at me!"
For example, we went to a oriental buffet restaurant when she visited last week. She got a small plate of food, picked at it, and refused to go back to the buffet line. Eventually several other people at the table had to go get food for her, and of course she made a big scene about it. One of the items was boiled shrimp, and in standard oriental style it had the head on it. She holds it up and announces to the table that this is a crawfish, they are Cajun from Louisiana, and she knows how to eat one. She then tries unsuccessfully to suck the insides out of it.
You gotta love 'em. She'll be like that till the day she dies.
Back to the birthday party for a second. One young lady that came brought her dad with her, and he had a wonderful time too. She was one of the people that was in hospital with me whom I have been getting together with for dinner every couple of weeks. He said that he and his wife were jealous of our get togethers and wanted to take part in it. They had realized that they had no friends either and wanted to be included. I think that's neat and they will certainly be invited from now on!
Father's day passed without incident; I called my dad and wished him a happy day, sent him a gift certificate to Lowes. He'll like that. We talk several times a week since I have unlimited minutes on my cell phone. I usually call him on the way home from work and talk the 30 minute drive away. Well, he does most of the talking and thats fine with me.
My mother had her own incident today. She had a heart transplant eleven years ago and once a year they have to do a heart catherization on her, sometimes taking a biopsy. Is a bit risky when they do it and she dreads them finding out something bad, since she knows a lot of people that had transplants, felt great, went in and were rejecting their organ and soon died. Just got the word a few minutes ago from my sister, Mom's fine.
The love that a mother or a father is supposed to feel for a child is in a class by itself, transcending all boundaries, even those of right and wrong. I know a lot of families don't have that and that amazes me. If I had a biological child I could not help myself from loving.
On the other hand, fellowship and friendship are great honors. These are people that don't HAVE to love or like you. They do it because you are who you are and they like that. What a validation of yourself as a person. Whe you find common ground with another, this is ground that is hallowed indeed, a moment that is special, a piece of life to be greatly treasured. And so many people throw those away.
My next door neighbors moved in nine months ago. I met the husband the first day, he was really nice and friendly, then I hardly ever saw him again for months. I never saw his wife until about three weeks ago. When I did, I made a point to go over and introduce myself. I did not like living next to people I did not know. And they were very sweet people too, good people to know.
People are so afraid or reluctant to let others into their lives, it seems. I know a lot of people who would tell you that they could count their friends on one hand and have fingers left. That is heartbreaking. We all have so much to offer and it costs so little to offer it.
Never refuse any advance of friendship, for if nine out of ten bring you nothing, one alone may repay you.
Madame de Tencin