Sunday, March 21, 2010
One of these days,
I'm gonna sit down
and write a long letter
To all the good friends I've known
And I'm gonna try
And thank them all
for the good times together.
Though so apart we've grown.
- Neil Young -
Tonight I am thinking about friends. The quote above is the first verse to a Neil Young song. Many years back, a year or so after I started living this different life of the road, my awesome friend Jason made me a mixed tape for the road. (So we all know it must have been a while back because, yes, it was a cassette tape). "One of these days" was the first song on the tape. I got choked up every time I listened to it. It is about, I imagine, his life on the road and the great people he has met who have touched his life. Even though he will probably never get around to writing that letter, those people still mean a lot to him.
In this strange life of travel we meet people and for a time, sometimes days, sometimes years, we form a connection with that person. But then inevitably we move on to another destination. And it is hard. I never get used to saying good bye. Except for a few family members and a few core friends, once I move on I know the friendship will change and often times we will eventually lose touch. But they will still always be in my mind somewhere and I know that the moments that we had together were very real. And sometimes I miss them and those moments. I have traveled to and lived in so many different places that sometimes I feel that my life is very fragmented. I feel like I have many different lives. Sometimes my heart longs for Alaska so much that it actually is painful. Sometimes I wish I could instantly transport myself back to someplace in Africa. Sometimes I hear a song and it reminds me of some perfect moment I had out at sea and I just wish so much that I could really describe it to someone. But I know there are very few people who will really get what I am talking about.
The other night one of the neighbors had an evening gathering. I could here everyone talking and laughing and for a while I felt really lonely. Sometimes I will see someone on Facebook with their group of friends, doing some cool thing, and I am envious because I wish I had a group of friends all in one place. One of the lines in this same song is "My friends are scattered". I so relate to this line. Because of this life I have chosen and created for myself, my friends are scattered. We don't all get together to go out to the desert for the weekend or just to hang out on Friday night. And that is one thing that is sometimes hard about this life I have created.
Please don't get me wrong. I know I am such a lucky person. I have many friends all over the world that I keep in touch with on a regular basis. And I am also so fortunate to have a handful of good friends and family that I know would be there for me through anything. But sometimes I just wish I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with them, face to face.
And tonight I am also thinking about one very amazing friend in particular. On his path of life he has just found out that a great big mountain has been plopped down right in front of him. And now he will have to climb that mountain, there is no way around it. But I know he is strong. I know he will make it to the top to see the amazing view. This is how I envision it. He will make it to the top of this mountain he has conquered, he will catch his breath, then - he will just keep walking. But the next section of the trail will be just a little bit different for him. After his long struggle up the mountain he will have so much appreciation for the ease of the trail ahead of him and the amazing vista he gets to now look at all along the way.
His name is Richard and he is in Australia. If you met him there is no way you would not think he was great. To anyone who reads this I just ask that you pause for a moment, first to send every ounce of positive vibes his way that you can muster, and second just to be thankful for all that you have in your life.
Thanks for taking the time.
If you have the chance please listen to "One of These Days" by Neil Young. It is really such a great song.