Monday, April 25, 2005

Letter to a Long Lost Friend

Dear Long Lost Friend,

I know I promised myself that I would stop writing to you, but when, in my online wanderings, I stumble upon those words which echo in my head and remind me of a friendship lost, how can I not respond? Besides, you yourself made the challenge (although perhaps not to me) to be more honest and carefree in ourselves like children who don't know enough to care what others think is cool. I'm tired of holding back when that voice inside says, "Stop now, before you make a fool of yourself". Whose voice is that anyway? Whoever it is must be friendless and bitter and crippled from fear. If we could see it, would we ever listen to it? I lost too many people I loved last year to waste any more time on that voice. I'm so thankful for the chances I had to love them, but man, if I could go back, I'd say and do so much more. So what about now? What about you? (That pesky voice is at it again, but I have temporarily silenced it with the thought that you will probably never read this anyway). So, brace yourself. I'm about to go Hallmark...

I want you to know how special you are to me. Not because you have aspirations toward fame, and I have your autograph (ha!) and not just because you happened to come along when my world was turning upside down, but because there is a depth and intensity to you that's so rare. Ironically, those qualities you say you lack--honesty and the ability to move people--are the very ones I admired in you. Maybe it's the loss of those qualities which concerns you. If so, then it concerns me too.

There's another quality, however, which I can tell by your words that you haven't lost: a curiosity toward eagerness to know and understand it. You made it easy to stay up late chasing random thoughts and dreams...even when the buttcrack of dawn loomed large. You had this strange mix of innocence and worldy wisdom which I've yet to find twice. Others might possess one and imitate the other, but with you it seemed genuine..and honest. I would so hate to see you force ignorance upon yourself in the name of "true love" and bliss. I can see why you might argue that knowledge (and the neverending pursuit thereof) takes us further away from the ability to move and be moved by others, but I think this is only true when learning ceases to be the means to an end and becomes the end itself. If you're simply hoarding knowledge for knowledge's sake, then you're right, it's useless. If, on the other hand, your pursuit of knowledge stems from passion, then it seems it could only enhance your ability to move others. Maybe knowledge is only useful in so far as it affects the heart. Maybe learning is just the way we feed our lives and too much unexercised knowledge just makes our minds fat. Maybe some people numb themselves with knowledge buffets and develop mental eating disorders that mask a deeper problem. Maybe these food analogies are just a result of me being hungry...

I don't know what I hope to accomplish by saying all of this, but it's been on my mind for a long long time and things keep coming up which remind me. Maybe there's hope in knowing what you meant to me--a practical stranger. Maybe if I can just make you see that there is love in your life that will always be there--of family and friends and practical strangers...of a God you may or may not believe in--then it would free you up to take the risks that living honestly requires. Maybe kids are more apt to take these risks because they trust in the love that they have--love which doesn't depend on image or first impressions..which doesn't threaten rejection..which they know will still be there at the end of the day. I don't know. Maybe kids just don't know what looking foolish really looks like. But do any of us...really? This everyday love is what makes us complete and teaches us who we are. If you can accept and develop it, then you'll be ready to take a risk when true love comes along. Of course, I'm only guessing here because I've yet to find it, but I think that true love begins where the need for it leaves off. Necessity leaves little room for choice and the "love" it produces is at best gratitude and at worst resentment (not unlike the "machine love" you spoke of).

Well K-Doll, that's all I've got for now. Except another attempt to say good-bye. You're loved and missed and even though you've heard it a thousand times, I'm here for you (albeit a few thousand miles away). Love to dad and grandma as well.


P.S. If I may be allowed to wax Dr. Phil (hmm)...Determine what really matters to you and chase after it. Spreading yourself thin is okay at times, but don't give the world a watered-down you...Oh, and I was only requesting to "wax Dr. Phil" the way one requests permission to "wax poetic". I'm just trying to cover my backside for the inevitable moment when someone says, "Who does she think she is? Dr. Phil??"...which is perhaps not so inevitable considering the slim odds that someone will read to the end of this letter. Just for the record, I have no designs on Dr. Phil's body hair.

P.S. x 2 You should totally consider me for that guitar position in the band. I play a mean Black Sabbath. You can just ask my one-time teacher who shares your first name and is making an RVA stop on his whirlwind tour. No. Seriously. He rocks. I don't.

Anyone else care to join a one-sided conversation on love and life--and Dr. Phil?

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