Old friends...

I had the opportunity to speak with two old friends yesterday. One of them had a mother in the hospital on life support and the other was just someone with whom I had lost touch. Our friendships were formed in the crucible of high school, that place where people who don't fit in find each other and hang on for the ride. Over the years we've been together, moved around the country, kept in touch and then drifted away. An email brought us together this time after a two year silence.

We've changed over the years. My tumultuous late teen life has long ago drifted away and I hardly remember the person I was when these friendships were born. I still love music, we're all musicians, and still have a restless streak, but age is perspective. One of us left for the south and never came back. His mother is in the hospital and as we talked I was impressed with the depth of soul that had emerged in his life. Time and struggle has shaped him and the fire has burned away dross. The other was as I had left him some years ago, a core of personality and life that seemed locked in a coating of anger. Whatever else had happened along his path this had not changed, or at least my perception of it had not. I miss the happy fellow he was and even as we talked I realized that I still care for him even as I keep a cautious distance. The thread, at times, may be thin but it will stay intact.

One thing is certain. As time and distance have taken us apart and circumstances bring us together over the years there will always be something inside of us that holds us together. We pick up off right where we left, whether that place was good or bad, and we can still talk for an hour without coming up for air. Whether or not we can be together, or even want to be together at any one time, we are still connected, if by nothing else, by the past we have shared. A million miles away there will always be a place in my heart for these two guys.

Time always takes people away but I'm always amazed by the ability of friendship to span the gulf. it is one of the great wonders of being human.

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