Congratulations!!!

Oh my goodness! My sister is engaged! It all happened last night. I am overcome with excitement and happiness for her. She deserves the very best, and I think they will be very good together for years to come. But now, what am I to do? This is my buddy-for-life!

I know I will be a little sad when she begins her new career, marries, and settles in North Carolina. It reminds me of when I was 9 and having a panic attack about growing up. I was afraid of this—of “losing” people as they moved on. But it’s gotten much easier since then. I’ve learned that lifelong friends (and my sister is one of my most treasured friends) can go through almost any development and still feel connected, able to be close whenever they’re together again. So that is what I believe she and I will have no matter where we live or what changes happen in life.

Congratulations to my beloved, treasured, and admired older sister! I love you! And to her fiance, you are a good man, and I can’t wait to be your sister (and mortal enemy—we need to keep up appearances!).

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Love and Loneliness

I should not be awake. I fell asleep watching The Pink Panther (1963) after becoming unbearably fatigued. Of course, I woke up for one reason or another around midnight, and now can’t seem to get back to sleep. I have a lot on my mind—namely: love, loneliness, and bodily resurrection (the latter inspired by the novel I just finished reading, The Betrayal: The Lost Life of Jesus, by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear). I won’t be posting about resurrection tonight. I might not sleep at all, if I attempt that kind of thinking.

So what about Love and Loneliness? I saw WALL*E today with Helen; I can’t recall the last movie I saw on its opening day, so that was fun on its own. Pixar just can’t go wrong. My immediate reaction after the credits rolled was “that was the ballsiest animated film I’ve ever seen.” This is the most “grown up” movie Pixar has made. It lacks a lot of what we come to expect from animated movies, like a reliance on snappy dialog and pop-culture references. Instead, this movie says something:

We need each other. We might be able to survive alone, but we won’t truly live.
Love is the high goal of life itself. Not just romantic love, but love for beauty and culture and the simple joys of creating and building and thriving. Loving our past, present, and future. Humanity needs hope.
As stated by director Andrew Stanton, the opposite of love is loneliness.  We’re all afraid of being alone. I know I am. But being alone can happen even when we’re surrounded by crowds of people, going through our technology-infused lives, isolating ourselves, and forsaking being close and intimate with others. All it takes to stop loneliness is to reach out and touch someone–again, to love.

I saw WALL*E shortly after watching this clip of the late George Carlin’s bit on “stuff”. Note: crude language abounds.
I find it profound, and when compared to WALL*E‘s  visual of mountains and structures built of discarded stuff, I think of the humans in the movie being cast off from their home by their consuming consumerism.  I wonder if the things in life keep us from the love of life.

boys and girls

The question remains: can heterosexual males and females be (just) friends? Will there always be a waxing and waning of interest or sexual tension or attraction? Is that what holds some friendships together? Do some men/women just use opposite sex friendships to make up for a romantic void?

I suppose a lot of friendships are like that—filler until something better comes along. For instance, I was very close friends with one guy from high school and through college. We had wonderful conversations, thoughtful insights, and could be quite real with one another. To get it out of the way, I’ll admit I had tiny crushes on him on and off. But that didn’t cause or end the friendship. It was a side effect of being emotionally close with him, I suppose. As soon as he got married—poof—he was gone. I haven’t spoken to him in three years. It grieves me, but I don’t want to step on his wife’s toes. I don’t think she liked me very much anyhow. But I do miss our friendship very much.

Another male friend of mine and I seemed to connect out of our singleness. We’ve known each other since 2002 or so, and I admire him and enjoy him very much. We used to talk daily, if not multiple times a day for whatever reason. Somehow I think that was simply a placeholder until his girlfriend came into the picture. No word from him about it, just a lack of communication. And since I find it offensive to have to chase friends just to keep some sort of menial contact, I’ve basically placed him on the back shelf of “we had a sort of closeness once”.

Common theme, really. I get along well with men, but am soon pushed back behind the new, bright toy that lives freshly dusted in the front. That’s okay, I suppose, since one’s most intimate relationships require more attention and give more in return. I try to have understanding and empathy since I’m certain I’ve done the same to others when in a dating relationship. That doesn’t lessen my fondness for what I once had.

But I still wonder… should I even become close to male friends in the first place? Can I even help it? should I always expect an unceremonious end?