I heard at church of the passing of an old friend of mine. I was shocked and ashamed. Shocked because I never thought of this person as old and ashamed because over the years, I've done absolutely nothing to remain in touch. Lives get busy, we have places to go, things to do, and I ignored a friendship that meant so much to me at one time. I will try not to make this same mistake again.
Another friend - actually someone I never met but through her writing yet feel as if I've known her forever is no longer writing. For years I've subscribed to Yankee Magazine. I'm not exactly sure why I've always loved this magazine but I just do. I can remember that it was always kept in the bathroom at my grandparents and reading it gave me a few minutes away from my brothers when I was very young and visiting my grandma and grandpa. I can remember that the Yankee Magazine from that time was Reader's Digest sized. It had pages of advertisements for unique gifts from New England - everything from gardening equipment that you couldn't find anywhere else to pendents in the shape of a Maine lobster. But also like Reader's Digest, the size and format of the magazine has changed and is no longer pocket-sized but large, like other magazines. It still does advertise those quaint little New England trinkets though.
For a few years, I didn't renew my Yankee subscription. I didn't have time to read them and I didn't have the money. I still don't have the money to spend but I missed the magazine - especially Mary's Farm - and was willing to give up a few coffees a month to subscribe. I received my first magazine and noticed that the Edie Clark article this month was titled Leaving Mary's Farm. Awwwww. Edie apparently has had multiple strokes and will no longer be able to write. It's odd because I haven't read her for a while but now, I can't finish the article about the end of her career and the sale of her farm because, hmmmmm, I guess because I don't want to face another loss.
If someone tells you that something horrible has happened, the words disappear. The feelings remain but the words are gone. If someone writes that something horrible has happened, the words stick around and rereading them makes my heart over and over again. But words can also soothe and I think that's why many people seek solace in poetry. There's just something about the tweaking of words in such a way that one's life view is so affected.
I've always felt rather sad that I don't have many friends. I think the reason for that is I'm a listener and not a talker. I am so much more comfortable listening or reading another person's words than I am contributing to a conversation.