This past weekend, I had the honor of attending a mesmerizing performance at the local art center. The story line centered on the friendship built between two men who hailed from different cultures and social contexts. Two men on a stage led the audience on the journey of their friendship through the years against a backdrop of gorgeous and breathtaking photography and video. One of the men was killed in the pursuit of his passion, wildlife and outdoor photography, and the remaining friend wrote a book which was subsequently adapted for the performance art piece.
In the play’s program the director wrote about the “shallow and deep simplicity of friendship.” He likened friendship to a river that we “often cross shallowly.” He wrote that “[T]oo often we fail to see it [friendship] with the significance it deserves. Simple friendship has depths that cannot be plumbed.”
These words and the strong thought and emotion provoking dialogue between these friends have taken up their fair share of my head space this week. Gotten me reflecting on the unremarkable and the remarkable aspects of my everyday friendships and the sustenance that each relationship brings to my life. There are the friendship brooks and creeks, burbling and percolating along; the ones that mirror huge crashing waves of both ecstasy and despair; the streams that fill to overflowing in the spring and freeze up tight in the winter; the deep broad still lakes mirroring back who I am and the lay of the land; and ponds, some spilling over that may one day become a lake and other ponds that have shrunk and are in the process of drying up from seasons of drought.
Some are ripe for plumbing the depths with the hope of revealing new treasure. Others already plumbed, some with slightly disappointing results and others that inspired a big huge shazaaaam. Not all friendships are meant to be plumbed but instead are transitory in their very nature ~ their gift made richer by their impermanence.
I love the meandering creeks and eddies, the written word and the performance art pieces that live on in lively and quiet debates ~ the internal plumbing of the soul, psyche and heart.