I could hardly believe, after all these years, that we were back in touch. Yet there it was, that cherished name from years past, on the glowing monitor before me. Jon and I had become friends lifetimes earlier. Nothing in particular had changed – other than the circumstances under which we had met. After a brief and bright few years at the same college, our association didn’t survive the normal relocations for other schools and jobs.
An observation of his back then was that friendship is largely a function of time and place. I bristled at the sentiment at the time, still of the mind that a true connection will outlast them. Occasionally it does, but far more commonly, even deeply resonant attachments dissipate when conditions shift. Long experience has me now agreeing with my old friend.
Look there, I called him “my old friend.” That remains true regardless of whether we’d have reconnected. Now that we have, it’s even sweeter to think of him that way. As for his assertion about friendship, as I’ve come to echo it I’m all the more thankful for the exceptions. It’s become clear too that it’s hard to tell at the outset; I’ve been mistaken more than once in speculating which ones will last and which might fade away.Continue reading