Monday, July 30, 2012

Keeping the Old: Perfect Moment Mondays

I am a terrible correspondent.  You'd think, with all of the email that I send, and all of the time I spent on the evil timesuck FB, I'd keep in better touch with friends.  But the reality, of course, is that electronic communication is simply not a substitute for the kinds of conversations you have in the dark, or the laughter and tears that are spilled over coffee, or the times when you sit together with someone and say nothing at all.

Back in high school, I had three good friends.  One of them is now a FB presence; we grew apart, because we really had nothing in common any more, and though she still reaches out once in a while, I don't tend to initiate contact with her.  One of them I've lost touch with entirely, though her sister lives in my town, and I see her posts on her sister's FB page, so I have some peripheral sense of what's happening in her life.  The third lives about 40 minutes away, and has a son two years old than mine.  We seem to cycle in and out of contact every few years, getting together and then drifting apart.  Of the three, she was the one who shared my values, my convictions, my sense of humor, and though she too has changed since high school (really, who hasn't), she's the person with whom I can still pick up a conversation where we left off, and still feel like there's something to say.

It had been about two and a half years since I'd seen her last.  I think I'd lost only one pregnancy when I saw her.  We lost touch for the usual reasons: busy schedules, the tour of birthday parties and swim lessons -- basically, life got in the way.  But I got a text message from her earlier this year, and my heart leapt.  It had been too long.

Finally, this weekend, we met for coffee.  It was one of the few beautiful days we'd had in a while: not too hot, not raining.  We get our coffee and walked, finding a bench in the shade.  And we talked nonstop for over an hour, about kids, about changes in jobs, about changes in careers, about loss, about fear, about hope.  And then--and perhaps this is most noticeable because she is hands down the most talkative person I know--there were spaces of silence, when the breeze would blow, and the sky would brighten overhead, and we'd sip our drinks, and appreciate just being where we were, together.

In a few days, I'm going to BlogHer.  I'm looking forward to meeting in person, for the first time, some of the people with whom I've developed friendships online over the past two and a half years.  (*And yes, I'm still a little bit nervous, because despite my fabulous online personality, it takes me a little while to warm up in person.  I dread being left on the periphery of conversation, though, so please come talk to me if you see me.)  I'm going with the intention of learning about writing and about myself, becoming inspired, and making new friends, with whom--despite the fact that we are women of words--I can sit and sometimes say nothing, and be understood.  Because really, in an era of information overload, sometimes the silence, together, is really what you need.

Perfect Iced Coffee

The Pioneer Woman has a fabulous recipe for iced coffee.  I'm not going to reprint it here, because she has better pictures than I could ever hope for, but I'll give you the link.  Now you have no excuse: invite that friend whom you haven't seen in too long to come for a tall cool drink.
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  1. I have a feeling I'm about to have at least a couple of perfect moments, featuring you. And maybe iced coffee.

    I agree with you. Talking is the mark of a good friendship, but silence is the mark of a great friendship.

  2. It's interesting how friendships change. I have old friends in both categories: ones that I can reconnect with easily, ones where our paths and philosophies have diverged so much that...there's so little common ground.

    Have a WONDERFUL time at BlogHer. I hope it's informative and fun, and that you get to connect with a lot of neat people.

  3. So glad you and your old friend had that time togther. I love to "go for coffee," even though I don't actually drink it. I prefer tea, hot cocoa or Italian soda.

    I am beyond excited to see you at BlogHer and hope we find quality time to chat and just be together.

    Have I mentioned how much I have enjoyed doing NaBloPoMo, with you, Jjraffe and Kristin this month? It was difficult to fit in, in the midst of this crazy summer, but I loved sharing this experience with you. Only three more sleeps until we'll be together in NYC!

  4. "there were spaces of silence, when the breeze would blow, and the sky would brighten overhead, and we'd sip our drinks, and appreciate just being where we were, together." I love this! Perfection for sure!

  5. I am so excited to meet you!! I'm quiet, too, so I'm nervous about warming up to people...

  6. I only have a handful of friends that I can pick up with like that after not seeing them for so long, but those few I have I treasure. I'm so glad you had this moment with your friend.

  7. A beautiful post. I loved how you described the silence that you shared with your friend. It had this holy, otherworldly presence. Thank you for sharing. I am longing for an afternoon of connection now.

  8. Meeting up with old friends is so great and when they are friends that you can have those silent moments with it's even better.

    I am so excited to meet up with you! I will be pretty quiet too. Just taking it all in and overwhelmed by the amazing bloggers around me.

  9. I love those kind of friends. A wonderful story, and love the photo too.

    Have a FANTASTIC time at BlogHer. I hope you are going to tell us all about it! I'd love to hear about meeting some of the virtual friends in person. I am sure you will find lots of inspiration there and can't wait to hear about that too.


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