"just in case you were wondering
just in case you got lost again
just in case you run out of friends
here I am" -Mary Chapin Carpenter
We are never prepared for the losses. It's like losing electricity when there is no storm in sight and the skies are clear above. What caused the black out? Were there clues that we had ignored? Did a friend try to tell us who they really were? Could we just not pick up the signal then?
I have been thinking of the perilous nature of friendships a lot lately. Perhaps every encounter is perilous, but especially so when we open our hearts so wide to another.
I visited my best friend recently who is surviving on less than half a lung. It feels like a sacred doing, to take care of those you love most in their weakest state. It is not made of loyalty, this doing, it is made of love.
Anything that is not built on that foundation is bound to crumble.
My friend, struggling for air, is hoping to live just long enough to finish his last math paper. I see joy in his tired eyes as he describes his discovery to me, a new terrain of mathematics that has never before been traversed. I don't understand most of what he tells me, but I don't have to. This is his heart that he is showing me. It is his offering to the world. What he leaves behind for others to build on.
He has another coughing fit and suddenly cannot breathe. I hear him through the night like this. Coughing till it seems like his chest might explode. I hear him coughing all night long, just a wall between us here in the tower of song. This friend who I would give my own lungs to, if he asked, if it would help.
There is never enough time, and the little we have, it passes so quickly. Blink and it's gone, this beautiful, painful life of ours. Why waste a minute of it on those who cannot follow us on the perilous, unknown paths of love? Because they teach us what love really is, those who cannot honor what our hearts hand over to them, who drop our gifts onto the floor.
I have learned that it all matters in the end. The truest of friendships and the ugliest of betrayals, the ripping and the tearing, the loving and the holding. "Be a warrior for love." Go to battle for it. It is what there is - in this little time that we are given. It is why there is something rather than nothing, because love opens the door of the world even if it does not necessarily survive the hard years ahead untrampled. Enough if it comes through in the end. If we fight for it.
Perhaps some of us have dormant warrior hearts. We lose our way, we cannot hold or handle what we've been given. We despise the giver for their gift. It is too great a thing to have been entrusted with an open heart.
Should we close it then, wall it off, this wildly beautiful beating thing? The alternative to love is quite literally a waste of time. This time we are given, a gift and a curse. We all get by with a little help from our friends, in the beginning and in the end. We all get by.
Poetry, stories, these are the vessels which carry us across stormy waters. It's why we fight so hard for what and who matters most. The heart pumps blood and somehow our brain finds the words for this darkness. It holds onto these like sacred treasure. Is it not sacred, this weird and wonderful thing we do?
"Don't ever forget to fight this good fight." Fight to love, fight to forgive, fight to feel it all out, every inch of scar, every mountain of wound. Let it take you where it must.
Here we are. After all of that.
Warriors. For. Love. Open hearts. Friends helping friends get on down the road a bit. Half a wing to half a wing. Half a lung. A whole heart nonetheless. Why waste what little time we have on anything less than everything love has to offer?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.