i worry about my friends. truth be told, i worry about a lot of shit, and probably far too much. but these days, it's been about my friends.
okay, some of it is self involved. there's a theme, though. we all seem to be thinking about, struggling with, wanting to escape from, looking for relationships. good ones. ones that make us feel happy and respected. ones where we don't need to keep watching our backs, or each others. we all want to find relationships that make sense, in some integral way. and we're having varying degrees of success. mostly on the not so good side, which is why i worry.
i watch someone dealing with shrapnel from a divorce. he's mostly okay, but there are still weapons being used (in the emotional sense). we check in, and he tells me the latest, and i worry. the one doing the wielding... it just doesn't seem right. putting a child in the middle isn't fair. do what you need to, but leave the child out of it, as much as humanly possible. and i watch, to see how the kid is doing. he's resilient, but we can only take so much.
i see another friend forging a new place for himself, and getting blindsided by the occasional blow from the past. he thinks, he talks, he asks questions. and that's all positive. he wants to learn from the past, but he also wants to put it behind. i keep my fingers crossed for him.
i get a call from my cousin, who abruptly announces that she's joining The Club. she's getting divorced, too. and i only hear from her when she's in a rough place (my bad for not keeping in touch more than that, but that's another story). she's at loose ends, and floating around. it makes me sad. i want to forge the friendship with her that will let me help. and i kick myself for hindsight.
i dance around the edges of another friendship, not wanting to pry too much, but knowing that where this friend is tears him apart. he can't go backwards, because too much has been lost. he can't move forward, for reasons of loyalty and a sense of responsibility. i fight the urge to jump in and fix everything, knowing that the only repairs possible have to come from him. he's unhappy, and there's nothing i can do.
another friend is in much the same place, for some of the same reasons. we talk, and go out for drinks, and joke around. he says he's fine. or at least, some days, he's able to say that. but i look at his face, and the pain is there, painted right across the surface. he's trying to make peace with his decisions, and wakes up most days feeling worthless. i want to be able to reach out to him and let him know, in some visceral, deep way that he is one of the best people i've known. the very fact that he's torn up about the current state of things stands as testimony, in my eyes, to his goodness. but he's not in a place where he can hear that. and i can't find the thing that he does need to hear.
i stand back, helpless, watching one couple that means the world to me. when i was getting divorced, they had a lot of problems offering me support. after it was done, i finally saw why. she told me she wished she had been able to find the strength to do the same thing. and i cry, thinking about that. to regret so much of your life... i hold my breath, praying that her situation will change for the better. other than wanting to see both of them at peace, i can't see what better might be.
i know others who have lost everything. they don't want to find a new place. they don't need to. they have a lifetime of memories. and most days, it's enough to look back on that. but i suspect that some days, it hurts too much, waking up to that loss. i do what i can, calling to check in and listen. we talk about memories that we share, and they tell me stories that i've never heard. working on building a story of where we've been is all that i can offer.
one friend is juggling something very new. we talk about how scary that is, how you always feel stupid because past experience says that there's always a catch that you really feel you should have been able to see. i know exactly what she means. and i panic that we'll both let that worry keep us from finding the real deal.
on the CD player right now: Michael Franti (naturally, as he rocks my world these days).
Love is the shit that makes life bloom
You never know when you might step in it
Love is the shit that makes life bloom
And you never know when you might...
But I want to keep on walking
And let this feeling rock me
another friend is actually in a very good place. she's making plans, taking chances, and she's pragmatic about the whole thing. naturally, i worry. 8) i don't want to see her get hurt again. color me negative. or concerned. or chartreuse. and yet... and yet, maybe i should just shut up and follow her example. acknowledge and move on. yeah, it can be shit. but it's necessary. love is the life blood of who we are as humans. the search for love, and the work we do to keep it, has to happen. otherwise, we stop being ourselves. and that would be the worst thing that could happen. :deep breath: so. so we take our chances, and hope. namastè.