The Ones We Used to Know

Life is hard. We tumble through space and time, colliding with one another like cosmic bodies set adrift by some ancient explosion. I look through old photographs, and peruse the online profiles of people I used to know, and feel a deep sense of longing, and disconnection, but love still resides in my heart for long lost friends, and I wish I could take part in their lives now. Where, my friends, did we fall away from each other? I often wonder if our brief but passionate, and somewhat violent collisions in this life sent us hurling through space in opposite directions never to collide again, never to meet again. I hope that is not the case. You have impacted my life, helped to shape it, and helped to give it direction. May we all have the privilege of being forged in such a way, and I believe we are. And while friends come and go, while the loves of our lives are cast asunder by the circumstances of cause and effect, my hope is that we gain more than we lose, and learn more than regret. Even in those circumstances where our hearts once beat in unison with some other soul’s and became entwined may we look back happily and without regret, and see true purpose of such things. Our lives are not our own, but inextricably linked and bound to one another, no matter how brief or how passionate our contact with one another is. To all my friends past or present: Thank you for being a part of my life.

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Here’s to turning 30

Today I am 30 years old. As I look back on this life I see a vibrant, at times turbulent and miserable, potpourri of experience. I am reminded of a couple of poems. The first:

“Alone”
By Edgar Allen Poe 

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—
 
And the second:
 
“The Men That Don’t Fit In”
By Robert W Service
 

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don’t know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
    They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
    And they want the strange and new.
They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
    What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
    Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
    With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
    Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
    Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
    In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
    He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
    And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
    He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
    He’s a man who won’t fit in.

These wonderful poems used to describe me. I identified with them. Now life is about drawing happiness and sorrow from a common well, and maintaining serenity, mindfulness, and peace.

Looking forward I can say that i finally see hope. I have found new purpose, and with it new direction. Compassion and generosity are becoming a way of life that gives me a joy I did not know i could have simply by reaching out to and for others. I look around and feel love now. I have a long way to go, but by living this way i can be there before I get there. I draw inspiration from the random acts of kindness I witness daily, and it gives me courage to do what i never thought was possible. I am grateful for everything I am given, and look forward for what’s to come, good or bad.