Was chatting with a friend on Instant Messenger yesterday. In the course of the conversation, she dropped a comment that included a memory we shared from years ago. So we began to throw one liners at each other about our years of shared experiences. All of them included laughter, the result of the things we did back then and got ourselves into and out of. When I finally remarked that she was a part of the best memories I own, she agreed and said that it was like following your heart, but with a best friend along who would always say, “Yah, let’s do it.”
We ended our conversation by making plans to revisit some of those experiences in warmer weather. Many of them centered around road trips, camping, and fishing. We even discussed the adjustments we would have to make to accommodate the effects of the years that have passed since we did those things. Road trips and fishing won’t be too difficult, but sleeping in a tent would definitely put a strain on arthritic joints and a deteriorating back condition. But I am hopeful that together we will figure out the logistics and find a way to do what we both long to do.
It all reminded me of a little saying I have seen here on the internet. It’s a sticker you can send to another individual and it says, “When you are in jail, a good friend will come and bail you out. A best friend will be sitting next to you and saying, ‘That was fun, so what’s next?’ ” Well, at least the gist is the same.
It’s not that either one of us want to go back and be the people we were all those years ago. We want to have that feeling, especially the laughter that was so much a part of our shared adventures. The laughter that comes so easily even now, separated by distance and years of silence. It might be a lot of wishful thinking, no more than a dream, but in that dream we are standing next to one another and both saying, “Yah, let’s do it.” That’s a commitment.
Another friend recently put a quote by Goethe in a comment she left after a piece I had written on Soul’s Music. This is the quote:
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves as well. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents, meetings and material assistance that no one could have dreamed would come their way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
Personally, I would define that as synchronicity, one of my favorite subjects. And it does apply here. Boldness, power and magic, three hefty little words, subtitles to that one word: Commitment. And all three of them were present and active during those long ago memories we made. They have been present throughout the complex history of our relationship. It might be that that is the very substance each one of us is seeking with our thoughts of warmer weather, the substance of synchronicity. All it takes is a commitment. Simple, right?
Commitment means so many things, yet only one thing. Committment means change. Raising your hand when all others are neatly folded on flat surfaces. Speaking into a lull in the conversation. Stepping through a doorway, where one has been standing, hesitating, perhaps for years. All of those things are commitments that will change whatever the background image entails.
Following your heart would be so much easier if your head didn’t stack up logistics that feel like mountains that rise higher and higher into infinity. And each mountain wreathed in the clouds of self-doubt that accompany such longings. It would be so much easier if you had a friend with you, someone to nudge you, whisper in your ear, “Yah, let’s do it.”
Someone to move through those changes with you. Share the ups and downs of whatever comes, offering a smile of encouragement when needed, or a pat on the back when things go well. Or a bit of dark humor that erupts into raucous laughter that lightens all that it touches.
Which brings me full circle and back to the beginnings of this blog. I have a friend who wants to go on a road trip, fishing, maybe even camping (can you hear the doubts on that one?). And I am committed to doing that. I have another friend who reminds me of synchronicity and how it works to encourage following through on that commitment. But best of all, I have a third friend that will listen while I work my way through all those doubts, concerns, what-ifs, the actual planning, and more. A friend who happens to hold a Get Out of Jail Free card. Will lean in and whisper, “Let’s do it.” That friend waits patiently as always, on the empty pages of my journal.