Impermanence. Attached to this word is something I think many of us resist: the threat of loss; the idea of letting go of something once synonymous with the very idea of ourselves. We know that nothing lasts forever and yet we live in such a state of denial of our finiteness and the fleeting nature of all things, including our personal relationships with others.
We do come to cherish some of those relationships much more than others and this is how it’s always been. Our very survival and sense of self have rested upon this practice of interdependence upon an entity known as ‘other’, beginning with the family we were born into. As we grow older, we choose who to welcome into our circle. This often includes significant others, our children, and close friends.
The older (and wiser) I get, the more I realize how important it is to spend unimportant moments with cherished loved ones. And because that’s so crucial, not only to my own growth but to theirs, I’ve had to let go of this idea that I can be all things to all people. Because what matters most, what is central to my existence, is being fully present for my children and those few I have had the honor to call ‘friend’ for so long and for so many different reasons.
As I find myself at this point in my life where others are dependent upon me for so many different things-to the extent that I even forget at times that I haven’t done anything all day out of even a tinge of selfish volition-I find that I simply do not have the time, or the energy, to keep up with the lives of people I once had good intentions to stay connected to.
Stepping stones. This is how I’ve come to see the lives and paths I’ve crossed which are more strangers to me now. Where once I held so tightly to the idea of keeping certain kinships alive, despite at times a lack of effort coming from the other side, I am finally able to see those relationships for what they were then and what they are now. Each one played a part, in some small or even grand way, in shaping the person I am today. Each one acted as a guide along my journey, pointing the way whether by chance or great intention. We made our exchanges; both gave and both received. It is with humility that I continue on my path, thanking the heavens for all the blessings bestowed upon me by you, perfect stranger.