Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Ineffable Voodoo Glue

Over the past week I've been reminded that I am hopelessly and I believe lastingly in love. The love I'm speaking of is not a romantic love, or at least it is not romantic love anymore. This week a very dear friend got married in the mountains of Colorado. A large group of our friends piled into planes, cars, tents, cabins, and bathing suits and made a raucous nuptial pilgrimage to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. Although we have had smaller reunions with specific people in this group, it has been years since all of us have been in the same place at the same time.

It was wonderful and overwhelming. It was surreal. It felt at once that no time had passed and that we had each lived a mini-life since last congregated. It felt like we are all growing into the people we are supposed to be. It filled my heart up and made me proud to know such wonderful people who I could converse with endlessly.

During college I remember a night where most of the people present at the wedding were at a party together dancing, talking, and wearing the ridiculous outfits that visually marked my collegiate experience. I recall a self-indulgent thought that night where I wanted that moment and these friendships to be frozen in time, exactly as they were. I was on a fire escape over a citrus tree. I looked up at the hazy rainbow that sometimes circles the moon in Northern California and thought, "Damn this is the life." I wanted to preserve the feeling of absolute unity. It all seemed so "written" in the stars, as if we all deserved to feel the way we were feeling that night for all time, amen.

Our friendships have not remained the same. In addition to all the joys,hopes, and accomplishments we have had individually and collectively there has been a lot of loss. We have lost people, we have lost love, we have been asked to move romantic relationships into platonic ones, we have forged new romances, we have wrestled with our career paths, we have made impossible moves, we have questioned our choices, we have been brave, we have come face to face with the recession, and we have been asked to find forgiveness for ourselves, others, and even each other. My fleeting, well intentioned, and naive hope that all would remain the same could never be true. I'm glad for that.

The joy of college friendship feels inevitable. Coming back to these friends a few years out now feels like a gift. We no longer share all our space and every thought with each other. The ability to live separate lives and then reunite with a genuine appreciation, warmth, and love for each other speaks to a deep bond, a true delight in each other, and growth. Within this group I see some of the best things about community and individuals.

Thank goodness relationships are not stagnant. We grow, redefine, and forge newfound closenesses. I should not be surprised to be feeling this way after my friends' wedding. They are genuine, kind, smart, hilarious, and community oriented people. They will be great partners for each other. They are the best of people so it makes sense that at their wedding gathering we would have such a gratifying reunion full of old love, new stories, and the ineffable voodoo glue that is made out of time, shared histories and hopes, and the subtle work we do in our own lives to keep us open, growing, and ripe for friendship.

I know that no matter how far friends scatter around the globe they can come back to each other changed, but still in love.

It was a great weekend of celebrating our beautiful bride and groom. It was pure voodoo glue.

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