Tuesday, January 06, 2009

wherever we go you can come too

Oregon is so beautiful.  Being there this weekend in the freezing cold surrounded by forest and old friends, surprise visitors and even my brother.  The kids played and we cooked and we drank and we stayed up late and we laughed.  Oh, how we laughed.  It's easy to forget this kind of laughter, the kind that comes when you are with old friends, even if nothing important is said it all seems to matter.  

Each night at dinner one of our hosts put little cards under each plate and would call on us at random, playing Oz or maybe the guy from Love Connection.  All of the questions turned into a roundtable, each of us jumping in to answer someone else's until it was hard to hear each other speak. Some of the questions caused an avalanche of memories, each spilling onto the table and causing faraway looks and reminders of when. 

It was a good weekend.  Good for the soul.  Fuel for the journey.  More and more now I know we'll need it, these connections and also ways to say goodbye.  Everyone promises they'll visit and we hope they mean it because our door will always be open and cold beers will be waiting in the fridge. 

I've learned the hard way this week that staying connected is more than just words.  In the process of downsizing my life I reached out to a few folks I've lost touch with, only to find out one of them has died.  More than died, really.  He killed himself a few months after we last spoke and a few years ago now.  I only learned of it this weekend and I can't help but wonder what those last days were like for him and if he was lonely in the end.  I can't help but think of how brave I thought he was, a counterrevolutionary in his own right, on horseback and across borders and yet in the end none of that matters, it's what remains that keeps us and how we choose to live.  

Don't forget to send me your Just Posts by Friday and if you are so inclined, read my previous post and join us there too.

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Janet said...

So sorry about the friend lost.

Your Oregon sounds delish. We had a similar time with old friends last Friday. The older the friends get, the fonder I grow.

meno said...

Oregon is beautiful. Sounds like the time was beautiful too.

Karen said...

When we were getting ready to sell all our stuff and leave in our RV, I spent several weeks going through photos that filled a huge box, a record of my friends and family over my lifetime. I sorted them out into little piles, and when I was done, I put them in zip-lock bags, with a friend or family member's name written on it.

We had two going away parties, one for each side of our family. At each one, at dinner, I passes out a bag of pictures to each person.

What happened spontaneously is that all the photos were passed around the table, along with the memories they produced, and we all talked and laughed for hours! It was so much fun, and a very good way to say goodbye to them all.

Lost School Friends said...

You may suddenly feel nostalgic and think about getting in touch with a former old high school classmate. Yet, it's hard to know where to start. My Hometown Schools is a FREE site for locating and contacting your old School, College and University friends, either to catch up on old times, or even to arrange a reunion.. Whatever the reason, we are sure you'll be happy here at My Home Town Schools!

painted maypole said...

i've been doing a mUCH smaller version of reconnecting with people. your friends sound fabulous.

Amanda said...

I visited your BlogHer post, and even now, some six months after having that brief in-person meeting, your photo resonates with the beauty and strength of character I found in you. I will miss you, but you will stay so authentic in my mind's eye. I will be following you in spirit and saving a place for you. I'll also carry an ember of your torch and beat the drum for causes I believe in, saving always a portion of what's mine for giving.

kgirl said...

Glad you had a good time. I have had some fun in Eugene, m'self. (Does that surprise you?)

thailandchani said...

It sounds like a great weekend! Oregon is especially beautiful.. and I'm glad you're reconnecting with old friends before you leave.

Many of them will probably come to visit you. :)


flutter said...

I just love you, jen. You and that heart of yours

Anjali said...

I've never been, but Oregon sounds like a wonderful place for friends.