I could see my friend, from the corner of my eye, as we sat near the pier, watching life ripple away between sheets of sky blue and sail white. We were connected.
His voice dwindled off, and finally he stopped speaking altogether. We sat in silence, as we often did, after the energy faded.
Today he complained most about his children. Although his complaints differed in the object, they all contained the same message – disappointment.
Vast disappointment covered most emotional areas in his life. He wanted more love and respect from his family. He wanted the best for his children.
Yes, he wanted recognition in his field. He gave so much to others, and had so much to give. Regarding his children, they didn’t accept his gifts or return enough love.
I didn’t mind his complaints, in fact, I liked hearing them. I felt his disappointments, in my head and in my heart, since his disappointments are common to us all.
To me, he is a beautiful canvas, perfectly finished and ready for viewing. In spite of that, each day, new life strokes fill in white spaces, in the guise of ultimate completion of his perfect being. Completion never comes. I wish he could accept that.
In my eyes, new paint strokes, even in the form of disappointment, change and enhance him. They give him character depth and appeal. In his eyes, he is just older and more wounded by life. It’s his choice, to maintain that vision of himself. My view doesn’t match and it doesn’t matter.
I wonder what I give him. Why should he be my friend? I am sure he knows, although, he maybe couldn’t say. As friends, we are connected, not in the usual way, but more profoundly.
I give him acceptance and a reflection of who he is. I don’t judge him or tell him what to do. I don’t demand he be someone he’s not. That is, I give these gifts to him when I remember who I aspire to be, and how to serve him best.
I tell him stories, as examples of my experiences similar to his. Like the oldest members of the Indian tribe, we sit by the campfire. I share my life adventures. He does the same for me. I tell my stories, but I don’t expect him to hear me. He can’t. Neither can I. That’s the way it is supposed to be right now, since we are not spiritually evolved.
Someday we may really hear each other. Who knows? We have lots to say, but it can wait until the time is right. Moments of mutual understanding may not come in this lifetime.
For now, this spectacular friendship offers the best in human relationships. It withstands time because it is absent of a contract or condition that requires maintenance.
Compared to marriage, or another symbiotic relationship, friendship offers the least opportunity for disappointment, while the love can be profound.
Not listening to each other is part of how I picked him from millions of possible friends. When I speak to him, and try to save him from himself, my words cascade back upon me. They reflect off his isolation. They make a resounding chord, a special tone that only I hear. That’s when I know about our connection.
His understanding of our friendship is not required, but it is grand when given.
What does he bring to me? He gives me a window to my soul to remember who I am. I have a chance to practice being the person I hope to be. I endeavor to enjoy him, without interference. That’s what I have to remember, not to interfere with who he is today. Our friendship inspires me to do better with my life, even if it’s just when we’re together.