Monday, August 31, 2009

Finding A Friend

I find it difficult to make friends (wow that is hard to say). I will justify this by saying that it is NOT hard for me to make friends, I am a very friendly person, it is just difficult for me to relate and get to a level of trust where I consider someone a friend.
Growing up I made friends very easily. I was easy going, talkative, a little bit rebellious, ready for fun. When I graduated into high school, things changed for me. When the politicing started and the hidden agendas behind friendships appeared, when it became important in who you knew and who was considered a friend, I found myself unable to maneuver in the bureaucracy of teen life. When everyone is searching for their identity, struggling with anonymotity or bravado, peacekeeper or troublemaker, I succumbed to the stress of it and became very inclusive in my friendships. I was neutral in the politics, stayed at arms length of the clics and groups and confided in a small number of guys and girls who were less concerned with who was popular this week than where we would meet for coffee and a chat!

At 17 an amazing girl stumbled into my life and it really was a stumble! We were both being wronged by the same boy. He had managed to date both of us at the same time mainly because we went to different schools, it was a typical high school drama. This girl however was anything but typical, she called me up out of the blue, told me what was up and invited me out for a coffee to chat about revenge. We became fast friends, much to the dismay of the communal boy and our friendship quickly blossomed beyond the boy who brought us together. The year that followed was typical girl stuff, movies, coffee, all night phone chats, boyfriends and in March of 1994, at 18, we went on a week long trip to Montreal. We had a blast and I knew that she was a different kind of friend, someone I could be myself with, no games, no politics, no need to be anything more that who I was. In June of 1994 she succumbed to the affects of Cystic Fibrosis and my world fell apart. I felt very alone in the world of teen and the genuineness of her friendship and her ability to be a friend became an amplified emptiness in my life. Her genuine friendship became a model for me of how I should be a friend and how someone could be a friend to me.
Fast forward to 2002 when Flynn died, most of my friends disappeared.
Fast forward to present, I am very lucky in the friends that are currently in my life, they are very special people, very accepting of who I am, unconditional in their love and respect. It amazes me the people that have walked, moved in or emailed into my life. I have found friends in places that I least expected, when I was not looking but usually when I needed them the most.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Helpless. The "knock you on your ass", "nothing to grab hold of", most absolute of all feelings. It will drop you to your knees because rarely do you have the foresight to see it coming. In fact I would venture to say that until you have your first experience with Helpless, you don't even know that such a feeling exists. It exposes the fragility of life, the extent of our power, the vulnerability of our belief. At the time that we encounter Helpless, we pray that we never know it again.
Helpless is that feeling that twists your stomach and pounds your chest, that liquefies your limbs and sucks the air out of your lungs. It is the awareness that envelops the reality of eminent death. It is the inexpressable second right before a new life is born. The moment that you are slammed with the knowledge that you have limited ability to change the course of this life. Life and death will proceed and you may not be included in the decision. It is the moment in a life that you realize you may have a plan but it is not your plan.
Loss is a trigger for Helpless. Our vulnerability, our desire, our plan all exposed and changed. It may not be a death that reminds us, it may be a relationship that cannot endure the ups and downs, maybe a job that could not survive the economy, a diagnosis that takes away our health. When there is nothing left that we can do to change the circumstances, we are reminded of that feeling of Helpless.
Today I wanted to remember Helpless so that I could remember that following Helpless, there is clarity, determination and the insatiable need to take claim of your life again.