Who is she?

A woman stands in the middle of a room

Like a sculpture

I sit, studying her

I know her.

 

I shift seats

I study her again

I see variations, but

the image holds.

 

A chill wind blows

She shifts her stance

Bracing herself

I see her face.

 

I don’t recognize her

Who is she?

_________________________________________________

Random thoughts and observations about relationships……

I’ve been thinking about how we know the people in our lives. And, I’m wondering: do we really know them?

Often our connections are circumstantial. School, work or our children’s activities may throw us together.  Is that enough to sustain a relationship? Sometimes it is. And, how well do we get to know the person when we only interact in a certain context.

Years ago, when I was in college, I read an article in a magazine that explored friendship. I don’t remember the adjectives the author used to label the different types, but one of the ideas was that some friendships develop because of a shared experience and when that is over, so is the friendship. I think the article mentioned college friends as an example. I don’t know if that fits for me. One of the things that was true in college was that I had a lot of time to devote to those friendships. We spent hours talking and sharing insights, our histories. I share a bond with those women. As an adult, busy with work, family and the mess and responsibilities of everyday life, I don’t have the luxury of spending time in that way.

It is true, though, that some relationships don’t continue beyond the circumstances. Sometimes it could be because you move on and don’t see the person any more. Though these days with technology being what it is, that may not be a legitimate excuse. Other times it can be because the friendship isn’t that deep. If you take a class with someone and bond during it, the connection may not be strong enough to sustain it beyond that. You may try to extend the relationship, socialize beyond the classroom, and find that you just don’t have enough in common. As you get to know the person, you may find that you like them less!

It is a rare and wonderful thing when you peel back the layers of a person and find out that you like them even more.

I’ve also wondered, how many friendships can a person sustain? It takes energy to keep up. I think I may be unusual in the amount of alone time I need, to contemplate, to reflect.

And, what about family? We need to tend to those relationships, too.

With some people, you can be out of touch for months and then pick right up as if no time had passed at all.

And, then, there is the situation where you thought you knew someone and they surprise you – and not in a good way.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t think so much! Relationships, and my interior life, would be so much simpler.

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I bought this reproduction of Rodin’s The Thinker for Gary years ago because it had particular meaning to us. Columbia University had one on its campus and it was where we would meet. Given my nature, I better understand now why this sculpture resonated so much with me.

4 thoughts on “Who is she?

  1. It is an important and complicated topic but there are absolutely times when people are thrown together and in that milieu become friends. Perhaps those are friendships of convenience that don’t really test staying power and are destined to fail. Still, there are those special people that don’t disappoint us, that do good deeds and support and help us. They are the true keepers.

    Jackson Browne:
    Everyone I’ve ever known has wished me well
    Anyway that’s how it seems, it’s hard to tell
    Maybe people only ask you how you’re doing
    ‘Cause that’s easier than letting on how little they could care
    But when you know that you’ve got a real friend somewhere
    Suddenly all the others are so much easier to bear

    Provocative blog post. thank you.

    Like

  2. I recently read a book by Mitch Albom “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto” in which the premise of the book is as we go through life we join various “bands” on our journey. Bands in this case can also be called a group. Although this story is about a musician it is not only musical bands that he joins but various other groups that he becomes part of over the course of time. These bands become friends for the period of time that they are together.

    As we move from town to town, state to state, job to job we leave one band and enter another. Maybe we enter by accident, maybe by divine intervention. The point is we generally find ourselves with different people.

    Friendships can be maintained across bands but it is more unusual than the norm. And you are right it does take a lot of work to keep that friendship alive and relevant.

    Like

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