“Let’s get coffee!” How many times have you said this? If you’re my age and living in the United States, chances are pretty high that number is greater than your digits by a long shot. I’m not sure what people said in 1813 or 1913, but getting coffee has certainly become a part of our cultural norm in 2013. And right along with it comes that other cultural norm: the opportunity for regret.
There are so many rituals in making and drinking coffee (tea is just the same). This is true especially when you make coffee at home. The filling of the device, the smell of the beans, the sounds of the coffee becoming real, the first taste. For coffee drinkers, making and drinking a cup of coffee includes all sorts of emotions and experiences that change it from the mundane into an almost revered thing. So asking someone to join you in that pursuit is both a casual thing and potentially a memory-making event.
When facing the unknown or the next chapter in life, it helps to have a friend to travel that path along side you. Some of those friends are furry. Some have bad breath or limp. Some take up lots of space. And some never complain or are too busy to give you a hug or stop for a snuggle. These are fine friends, in deed. May you always have at least one in your life.
Bill's newest book and his famous bacon jam!
Last night I made the trip to Portland’s own Murder By the Book to celebrate the release of Bill Cameron’s fourth book, County Line. It was a win-win kind of night…I supported a local indi book store, heard Bill read a bit of the new book and listened to him play his ukelele. Perhaps one of the best parts was reading how he signed my copy: “To Quickie! Such a delight to become friends with you!” And it is delightful. Delightful to have found another person in this world to add to my list of “people I know and care about”. How about you? How long is your list? Because most folks in this world have a list of those who matter, connected by blood or that even thicker connection I like to think of as the “feathers of my heart.”
Everybody I know has something that partially defines them and through which many of their friendships arise. Perhaps they play as sport or a musical instrument or board games. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, just that there are activities. I believe it is through the doing of life that we find the living of life. And those who live it amongst us are often the folks who become members of our “found” family. Birds of a feather and all that.
I have over 100 people I talk with, laugh with, cry with, be with throughout the day because of Twitter and Facebook. And every tweet or status update or link shared connects me with people I could never spend as much time with using the “normal” avenues of phone calls, letters, and coffee klatches. So I think my “cyber” friendships are very, very important. And today I was reminded that the larger your pool of interaction, the more of the pendulum’s arc you experience.
One friend is excited about her upcoming wedding. Another struggling through a divorce.
One shares her positive pregnancy test. Another her miscarriage.
One is building a new house. Another is picking up the debris of a tornado.
One friend types “The End” on the latest book. Another giving up a dream.
Today I am reminded that the pendulum swings, indeed must swing, from one side to another. And that when all feels lost and hopeless, this is today. Tomorrow the lost will be found and hope refilled.
The Yin cannot exist without the Yang.
May we all find ways to add people to journey beside. A hundred candles flickering in the dark can illuminate even the darkest path.