First of all, this: Things are not great. (Understatement.)
But second of all, also this: My friends are. I have discovered what it means to live in a community of friends who concern themselves with the ups and downs of each other’s lives, and how invaluable the gifts of their time and attention can be. Moreover, not simply how invaluable, but also how vital friendship is. A friend of mine recently told me that when coming to grips with the times in our lives that God seems to be absent, seems to be leading us through a wilderness, a time of suffering mysterious to our senses and irrational to our logic, BROTHERHOOD is his gift to us to be able to cope and eventually perservere through the confusion. Without my friends, where would I be?
Right now I feel confused beyond belief. I feel that my ability to use words is even in jeopardy. In the past two weeks, I have not been able to articulate myself vocally at all the way I used to this fall. Hardly anything makes sense and I can barely sit in a dining room and present myself as a put-together person without falling apart. But also, I know that my inability to mask my feelings is a gift. I never dam the pain up. When it arrives, I let it out immediately. From experience, I know that the constant trickle of emotion is better than keeping it in an internal reservoir. I deal with things when they arrive. Its simply using sentences like this: “I feel…” Why are so many of us afraid to feel these days? So afraid to make it public? I don’t and will never understand how people operate and smile with so many crocodiles swimming underneath their surface. How do you pretend that everything is okay when it isn’t? Impossible.
And that’s where friends come in. Real friends. I’ve had in depth, legitimate conversations with nearly all of my very close friends about my recent tragedy. What a gift. I owe all of you immeasurable gratitude. Just know that it does not go unnoticed and it does not go unremembered.
This weekend, I skipped thursday classes and drove to Greenville SC with Jimmie and Steve. We arrived at Greenville’s acclaimed par/pub/venue “The Handlebar” to see Alan Miller on stage with his band Stump The Root, and also Florez, Focus friends from the past. Gray Miller turned 21 that night, so we celebrated afterwords with so Jack in the Box, a trip to Ingles, Champagne and a relaxing evening of couch lounging. Gray popped her first champagne cork off of their third story balcony. Slept at Alan’s appartment and met all of his bandmates. Awesome guys. Spent a quick afternoon at Davidson, smelling flowers, throwing logs into woods, jumping in the air like idiots, and enjoying milkshakes at the local soda shop. Spent a five hour drive in the car with Gray Miller, the first two and a half ours of which we did not turn on music because there was not a single pause in our long awaited catch up conversation. I also introduced her to the new Hellogoodbye CD, which is always a rewarding listen. Made our way to Jimmie’s Goochland Farm House where we grilled chicken, drank Amber Bock (a foundational beer among beers) and other assorted chick drinks, danced like crazy, had push up contests, and ran around the house like maniacs. Woke up to nearly two inches of snow (???) and shot cans of pineapple juice with a shotgun before heading back to Richmond. This afternoon: Tyler’s CCV Birthday Lunch.
Snow on the spring flowers this morning; all of the colors of the season iced over with a white blanket. Just remarkable. God is good to us and displays his power through nature, even when we certainly don’t deserve to see it.
God: cure my unbelief.