Ray and I were having this conversation about friendship. Usually in a friendship, there is an iniator and a recipient. After many years of writing letters, I discovered that I was generally the iniator. I am
convinced that most of my friendships(or
romantic notions thereof) would
shrivel up on the vine without effort on my
part. I am pleased that you're
an exception to that rule. Everyone else
appreciates and comes to EXPECT a
regular note from you(the "general you")...and
when you STOP, they have the
balls to ask if you died or something. Or you get "haven't heard from you in awhile." After awhile, you just realize
that it's not really WORTH effort for all of the diminishing returns...
So how do friendships flourish or begin? I've given out my "bizcard" to colleagues I meet while on the
road...extending the hand of friendship if they should ever be in New Hampshire...Most often, nothing comes of it...
And I have to admit, I don't like to socialize on
my time off...I DO like to send e-mails or letters...but once I falter,
there is nothing coming from the other side...
Ah well...whine, bitch, moan...
Anyway, with all of the A320 flying I've been
doing, it seems that you'd
need a cosmic act of intervention for our OWN
paths to cross. You know,
heaven FORBID two good friends run into each
other...the universe might
implode or something.
And speaking of writing letters, how's THIS
paradox...I have about
twelve people in my mailing list that could be
considered serious Christians. While I'm ambivalent about religion in general, I AM looking forward to looking for the appropriate Easter Cards for these folks. I may not take their religion seriously but I take
their FAITH and their FRIENDSHIP seriously. Does this make me a hypocrite? And should I even I bother since most of these folks aren't regular with their correspondence
anyway? But it feels right and natural to do
this...so that's the criteria I'm going with...
Anyway, thanks for being a good friend,
You raise some good points. Life is like an
extended cruise on a ship; you
meet great people, promise to "stay in touch,"
exchange e-mail addresses and
such and then ... poof. Gone.
One of your gifts is that you care enough to
actually keep the connections
of friendship repaired. You're a bridge tender.
And people really
appreciate it. I know they do because I do.
Think about it. Unless there is an overriding reason to stay in touch,
chance of sex, chance of inheritance, your friend is
rich or whatever, friendships are generally acts of convenience.
No, I do not think you are a hypocrite because you are looking forward to
the promise of an Easter card or two from your
Christian friends. You do
respect their faith. If everyone had that attitude (and didn't think that
the person's faith was dead wrong ... what was I
reading the other day ... "we do not look for truth because there are
millionsof different truths about any one thing") there wouldn't be any
religious wars. Why can't we get excited about a shared celebration (not by us)
of Ramadan, Chunukah, Easter or the Winter Solstice (oh, right ...
About friendship where you're actually with them,
spending actual time in others' company: I don't know how to do that.
Right now my fragmented life does not lend itself to that pleasant
It's like the boat, I
want one but now I don't even have the time to
go *look* at any much less *
own* one! What would it be like to have an
That is a rhetorical question, I think.
Speaking of fragmentation, I now have to crank
the software and get my
finances squared away. Last week I went to the
Virginia Festival of the
Book. I loved it! But today I have 95 e-mails,
finances are a week
undone and I've a ton of other work to do. And
I sit in Columbus, Ohio.
My turn to whine.
Take good care, brother.
Here I sit in Edmonton. Day Four. Wheeeee...
Actually, I've been doing lead and having a good time
with it. If someone's starts treatiung me like a
lackey, I'm training myself to distance myself from
it. But I WILL let some passive/aggressive soothe
my ego. Nothing bombastic. Something like "forgetting"
to return their coat, for example...
I have a CLT layover in April, if you can believe it.
Let me check on it and get back to you? Could we
actually be hanging out for the THIRD time in the
tenure of our friendship? WAOW.
Thanks for the kind words, Russ...and fuck Religion.
It's stupid. I think we're in a post-human historical
simulation or something. It would explain a lot...
Catch you later...GaP
I live in Charlottesville, not Charlotte. CHO vs.
CLT. Unless you fly the
Saab you won't be laying over in C'ville! :)
Screw religion? How so? It's a major deal. We
can't ignore it as a
No...but I can ignore its bullshit. Whenever some
Bible-thumper goes on about their pick of
subjects...homosexuality being immoral, the smugness
of their dogmatic thinking(we are the CHOSEN
ones...yeah, isn't EVERYONE?), and just the sheer
absurdity of it all...I can just get up and walk out.
Thomas Harris has written that religion has gotten a
blank check since it doesn't have to back belief with
critical thinking and skepticism...Basically, we have
people believing in First Century
Superstitions...Tiresome. All of it. I choose not to
Too bad about the non-layover...Speak soon...GaP
I understand your point. I'm much the same way. Over the years I've learned that the myths the religion are build upon are true (inasmuch as myths inform our soul). But always the followers get wrapped up in the dogma, then they get wrapped up in control and then we have the Inquisition and Jerry Falwell.
Much can be learned by going to the original sources however.
Who cares if Noah really built a big barge or if Jesus really went bodily to heaven (or was born of a virgin for that matter). What matters, it seems to me, is what these stories have to tell us about living a human life on earth. When I accept the stories as fiction I can see the messages.
We do have a big problem when modern man takes a set of 2,000 year old myths and tries to hammer them into his modern life. What you're doing makes more sense; taking modern myths (in the form of super heroes) and seeing how they inform your life. Do you think Batman is real? Hell, no! Do the Invisibles roam the earth? Who cares? But the stories about them sure can teach us a lot! Getting into the modern myths is quite a wise move, my friend.
Take good care,
I do believe you've nailed it. I always used to wonder just WHY the hell people(including myself) were enamored with stories regardless of the genre...super-heroes, romance, Westerns, espionage, horror...what have you. The point IS, we need our stories to make sense of a world where the loose ends DON'T get tied up neatly, where there ARE no sub-plots, expositions, motivations, or any discernible REASONS for the things that happen to or around us. We need stories to make help us make sense of the world/the universe...and yes, lessons can be learned from the classic story-structures.
Taking the idea even further, sometimes I believe that fiction exists as an antibody---a preventative to protect reality. For example, science-fiction concepts such as overpopulation and nuclear war have been played out in novels, movies, and television as cautionary fiction...but MORE than that, they present the stories so WE DON'T HAVE TO LIVE THROUGH THEM. Almost like reality taking an antibiotic. The most current example I can give you are the scenarios on 24...First season, family kidnapping, presidential-candidate assasination attempts...Season 2...the threat of a nuke atomizing Los Angeles...Season 3, even more chilling, a terrorist threatening to release a super-virus into the U.S. population...all horrific situations that we've never REALLY had to deal with in reality...So fiction deals with it so WE won't have to? Your thoughts on this?