Something rather new is happening in my life and I am a bit confused, when I think of it. I used to move through my life with a handful of good friends around, about the same amount of them most of the time, not too many, not to few, just about right. And I am talking about friends as I have defined them in my Friendship on an island post. I would just add one additional attribute of a friend to the two in the mentioned post, and this would be a “soul mate” quality, an open flow of connectedness, or perhaps immediate recognition of that. A non-erotic variation of being in love, I would say.
Anyway, about a year or so ago this established number of friends in my life started to increase radically. Perhaps I opened up a bit more and started to see, respond, attract, resonate, connect… more than I did before, perhaps something else has changed, who knows, but what firstly started as a noticeable increase in the number of genuine connections, has slowly turned into a waterfall of true and good friends pouring in. I keep meeting new friends while travelling (the last one joined my collection just last week in Warshaw) or in my home town and there’s truly abundance of them nowadays. Plus there is, of course, this blogging tribe that is throwing all these beautiful people at me. I mean, Robin, Sanity, Razz, Jennifer, Hayden…, what else can I call you guys but friends.
And I am being the same sort of a rather introvert and anti-social guy as it has been the case in the last ten years or so.
Well, I hear you say, what is the problem? What is there to not know about that? You are getting loads of friends in your life; enjoy and quit complaining!
And you are so damn right.
But the thing is that I have noticed how my mind has been utterly spoiled by this action-oriented type of modern mentality. The urge to do something about it, to create something out of it, to move and to evolve it, is growing. You know, I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! It is true that I do not have any burning need for helping hands nowadays, nor do I enjoy just hanging around with people, talking nonsense in order for the time to pass. But, but, but, I cannot just sit here and have all these friends scattered around the globe, there must be something to do!
And there goes my mind: “Let’s organize something. Perhaps a gathering. Every month in a different city. Or let’s do a facilitated mind-blowing retreat together. Workshops. Re-unions. Perhaps just simple parties. Hm, maybe not just parties since they tend to turn meaningless, let’s do a facilitated thing. At least a karaoke night. Or, let’s do a Skype conference. Or perhaps I should just invite everybody here… Or, perhaps we can write a book together. Or…”
This mind of mine is really a funny creature: it wants to move and to change things. Even friendships. I mean, how eternally far away am I already from the scene we so often saw on our journey to the East in places like Eastern Turkey. Friends just sitting together.
Now, I do have some doubts whether their wives had the same appreciation of the ways their husbands used to enjoy the company of friends every day from mornings till sunsets, but let us stay focused here.
The thing is that it seems to me I need to re-learn to just be with people, not having to do anything. Even when I am all excited about them for them being so beautiful and for feeling such a fulfilling connection between us. It is OK just to be. When I think back of Zen seshins or dialogue processes and remember the beauty of the moments, when there is interconnectedness between everybody in the room, yet there is no need to do anything. Presence and silence are enough.
But still, it is kind of funny; at 42 learning how to just be with people. How to just be with friends, without having to do anything.