A pleasant early spring Friday afternoon at the Mexican restaurant with my mostly retired schoolteacher friends. Two-for-one cold beer, chips and five kinds of salsa, large platters of appetizers. Confessions of our early mothering, a few laughs over the grandiose plans of others we once had, struggles with the bureaucracy of Medicare. A former student, now lawyer, sits at a nearby table. The dining room fills with college students in shorts and sundresses. Later in the parking lot we share a couple last jokes, future plans, and tomato plants from the back of Grace’s van.
In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. Khalil Gibran
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. Aristotle
Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. Elie Wiesel
We call it margarita therapy. A circle of friends meeting every Friday for happy hour at the Mexican restaurant. Originally we were a group of teachers from a local elementary school. But now. We’ve retired, or transferred schools, or never taught. We are aging boomers sharing a journey. Deaths, divorces, births, aging parents, adult children. Life. Did we know it would be like this? Did we know how important we would be to each other?
This week Deborrah presented each of us with chow chow she canned from the green tomatoes Grace brought several weeks ago.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis
Where is this “paying attention” taking me?
This muse is my imaginary playmate, the one who is showing me creative potential in my thoughts and experiences. She’s helping me find connection in my inner, introverted world and the world beyond the perceived safety of my house.
Yesterday I attend a meeting with a lady who immediately takes on the role of “expert” and I watch myself slip into resistance.
Muse: Snap out of it, Laura. Just listen for ideas.
Me: Yeah, like how I can get out of this place.
Muse: Be nice. “This place.” Could it be in your head? How could you get out of that?
OK, I start visualizing the “expert’s” words. She says we need to get our defenses in line and I see her as a drill sergeant. It makes me smile and she thinks I’m responding to her idea. Well, I am, in a way. She’s encouraging my imagination. I could “like” her and this situation for that.
Maybe I’m ready for a new definition of friends.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive. ~Anäis Nin
Later at home I watch earlier episodes of Downton Abbey (trying to catch up before the new season begins on Sunday) and keep my hands busy making bookmarks for my book club friends.