After the initial excitement, what? We make contact in the instant, and check in with whatever story attenuates our daily struggle, and then, naturally, drift apart. Yet though our pathways are expected to diverge, the feeling of having reconnected leaves one pleased. It is good to know that friendly accord persists, despite the years that do separate us. We can honour the past. We can recollect the memories. We can communicate with some, especially nowadays, thanks to the many mediums at our disposal. Yet in the bullseye metaphor of a dart board there are comparatively few persons in one’s inner circle who are obliged, or feel compelled, to reciprocate frequently. Some maintain contact, intimately by degrees. A special friend. But very many persons we know, naturally, prick into one’s consciousness, but stay on the periphery. (Surely there are none that "doesn't matter," or, "never did," surely?)
Outer circle relationships can know little of the facts of our life. The pleasantries with the familiar receptionist, the clerk, the secretary, the milk man may all slip away. We forget their names. We enjoyed their presence, their energy, their helpfulness, and even our chatter. But eventually, we, or they, move on; (that is, even those with whom we share intellectual intimacy.)
Closer circle relationships evoke more touchstones. People with whom we’ve worked. People on whom we’ve depended. People with whom we’ve shared stories. Old school classmates. Old office colleagues. Old neighbourhood camaraderies. Then there are present day persons circling the immediate apex of shared interests. Ongoing reciprocity is in the instant. We give, they give back. And all the care and empathy and sympathy and assistance and generosity can be heartfelt, sincere, and treasured. We learn personal things about them, and they know our stories too. But then way leads on to way, and we move away, or they do so too. Yet always, we recall that we had a relationship of some sort, however peripheral that may have been. Coming back into consciousness, an itch begins. We need to make contact. To reconnect.
But let’s face it. Some relationships, like watching a drifting leaf in the streams of life, bob and glide and pass on, away. Each person we meet, have met, are yet to meet, appears interesting to us, depending on the degree to which we give them focus. And yes, then too, it can depend on the degree to which they give focus back to us too. How often do we stay communicating?
Thing is, within the dissection of memes of continuing behaviours, preferences, proclivities, habits, and interests, three arteries appear: Conversations dwell on a predominant interest in things; or delve much into an interest in others; and some explore amongst ideas. All three, generally, engage us. The first is easy. Things can preoccupy. The second is more subtle. We talk about people with care and love and compassion, or some talk can be mean-spirited and poisonous. And if overtly preoccupied by ideas, that too can be too political, contentious, self-righteous, or too abstract easily to integrate. So, yes, we are an admixture of all three, and by degrees are swirling in the very chemistry that makes for the recipes of our individuality. It is the kismet soul that invigorates us most. Especially in the moment. (Hello there, fellow traveler!)
Well, who amongst our friends maintains a steady and loving contact? Who among our family? Some of us have old colleagues, old neighbours, old school chums, and old relationships that continue to dip into our lives (and we in theirs) as the years turn to decades. Such is the nature of an unconditional reciprocity. Yet still, how deep do either of us really, truly, delve?
To provoke a sustained contact, now there’s the rub. Personally, I find Penelope and Percy to have reached out, to have shared their story of the journey from a then to a now, and then to disappear again into ‘the new now’, full of the circumstances and involvements and interests and preoccupations that naturally absorb each of us, individually. “Anon,” and, “Toodle-do!”
Recounting catch-ups goes only so far. The ball is in your court. Or is it in mine? And friendly as our interaction may be, when do we again meet? Or must all relationships, except the ones in an ongoing comfort of reciprocity, circle and cycle around the circumstances of living one’s life as it evolves? When will you write, or respond, or reciprocate, or reach out, yet again? Hm?