community · compassion · family · generosity · laughter · life · love · relationships · San Francisco · willingness

Modern Family

Yesterday could not have been more marvelous. Oh, San
Francisco friends ~ How I miss you!!! And how I don’t realize it until I see
you.
Having lived in SF for almost 5 years before moving here to
Oakland, I had the (I can’t even think of the proper word – I don’t think I
know it) intensely fulfilling and soul-affirming opportunity to meet and grow with a pack of women. Many of my
desperately favorites were at my friend’s Memorial Day bbq event yesterday.
The feeling of guts relaxing, smiles expanding, hearts sighing, that’s how it was. I can’t stand it.
But I could, and I did. I was there, and present, and
helped, and talked, and listened, and laughed, and sun-baked (beneath a
generous layer of SPF), and hammocked, and cherry picked, and peach picked, and
dribbled little lines of peach juice down my chin, and made children laugh, and
they made me laugh, and caught up, and shared, and understood, and was
understood. Oh, this family gathering. This is my family, part of it anyway.
And how good it was to be back with them.
So many things have changed. The children are bigger. One is
moving to Japan. One got braces. One got certified. How many things change when
we aren’t looking – or in communication.
The phone works, sure. The bridge works, sure. But how me
and this particular group of women met, and shared, and grew, it was in person.
It was by witnessing monumental and incremental growth over weeks and weeks
which became years and years.
Yes, I’m feeling a little sappy. But I can’t help it. I love
them. And, they love me. This is a section of people who know me in a way few
do, who have witnessed my own growth and change, and who like me, accept me,
are fond of me. As I do them. What a miraculous gift. What a fucking gift.
I don’t know quite the solution. Does there need to be one?
The ache that I realize was there? I felt the same way when I went to a
workshop run by the same woman who hosted this barbeque – the workshop was in
January, and I arrived and saw two women I hadn’t seen in likely a year or
more, and again, my guts sank down from somewhere behind my ribs, where they’d been benignly pinching my
lungs and inhibiting my breathing, they sunk, phoom, back down to where they belong in the
grounding, rooted, centered calm.
It was at that workshop that I realized how much I missed them
all. This won’t be another diatribe on how I don’t feel connected to the East Bay as in the
“Exile” blog. I do feel connected, more
connected, than I had, with more women than I had. I feel friendships, and
activity partners, and women to share with. But. … I’ve only been here a year
and a half, almost two. That’s not 5. That’s not in the same way.
Things change. They must, and they have to. Can I change
with them? How do I balance? How do I maintain – or if change is necessary, not
“maintain,” then, but evolve? How do I evolve with the reality of distance?
Because I won’t always be here in the Bay. That much is
likely true. And what happens then? I have a dear friend who moved to Brooklyn
last year, and we speak on the phone maybe once every two months, with some smatterings
of texts, but we’re not nearly as close – this woman who was once as close as
my heart.
How do we do this?
I’m not sure. I know that I obviously missed these women
more than I knew. I missed the way I feel
when I’m around them – known and loved, exactly as I am, for who I am. Women
who know me well enough to jibe at me, laugh with me at myself, and poke into parts of me that need to
be poked for movement to happen. These are women… for christ’s sake, I can’t
stop gushing.
What now? If I’m aiming to be responsible and adult in my
life, to take action where I’ve taken none, to believe that no one is coming to
change or live or make my life for me – then, how do I incorporate this
knowledge? The knowledge that I want more of that – that I want those
connections kindled, or renewed?
I love my new friends – they are buoying me in ways they
don’t even know. But I miss my old friends. I miss so much of what’s happening.
Life is so damn short and quick, and things move so suddenly. Someone moves to
a new town. Someone to a new country. Someone is engaged, or married, or
pregnant. Someone is in a break-up or new relationship. Someone is changing
careers, or expanding a business, or taking a new class, or forming a girl’s
band (yes, that’s me and my friend with plans to jam with her drums and my bass,
here in the east bay).
I want. Terrible words. But, I do. I want – I want what I
had, but in the present. I want what I had yesterday – the gut-release, the
warm bath, the mild pleasant smirking at the familiarity of us all.
I want. In the present. And how. 

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