I reconnected with an old friend the other day, someone I had lost touch with for about forty years and someone I used to love very dearly but lost in a really messy relationship. We used to share everything together, working on cars, swimming in a lake, bothering people, playing the guitar and just hanging out together.
My friend had the amazing capacity of always seeing the other side of where I was standing, and gently guiding my thoughts to his side. Oh, he had no illusions since we were both dealing with idiots, and so one day we just lost sight of each other. I went away, and so did he.
He took a very large part of me and replaced it with big words like responsibility, and career options, and the need to progress. He took away the joy of the single song on a twelve string guitar, the slide into a corner with a disintegrating bicycle, the subtle pain of the scraped knee and bloody nose. He took away a lot and left me with security.
He took away danger and love and pain and beauty, he grabbed for my soul and forgot I never had one.
But I found him again. I found him where I left him, on the second fret of an old guitar, in the soft memory of a whitened pair of bluejeans. I found him in the grease of a bicycle chain and the hard rasp of a saw, I had him in my hands and he gave me back my skill. My old friend gave me back what we all gave up as we grow older, more respectable and infinitely dumber.
We are what we started out to be and never made it to where we are going because we are no longer on the road to what we want to be now. Finding yourself is one of the rare pleasures of getting wiser, because wherever you are, you are never that far from who you were.
No matter where you go, there you are!