Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's the end of the year as we know it, and I feel...

Warning: Serious, navel-gazing post ahead.

I've been away from the blog, correspondence and writing in general for more than a week in the midst of holiday mayhem and much-needed social time. The time has also afforded me plenty of moments of perspective and introspection. I suppose holidays always do that (and/or push us into abject alcohol abuse), but as I've worked to slow down the roller coaster of life and come to terms with the past few years, the effect is that much more profound. More than that, the reality of coming within an inch or so of death and the ongoing physical and psychological recovery makes every aspect of this season so much sweeter.

Since the shooting, I've been contacted by or gotten back in touch with several old friends. Some I hurt over the years; some I just lost touch with; either way, these are steps and connections that have meant a lot to me. And as much as I realized the importance of friends and family in the emotional ups and downs since 2004, the shooting forced me into a vulnerability and acceptance of my need for the people who were there after that night and in subsequent months. The bigger lesson was how to ask for and accept help. The collateral effect was the realization that I had cavalierly let valuable friendships go over the years.

I guess the point is that I never realized how much I needed the people who cared about me until I was forced to put my life in other people's hands. This isn't the ideal way to learn a lesson, but I guess some lessons in dharma and karma come in bigger packages.

And yet, for all the friends I have (loosely) reconnected with, there are many more I have yet to find.


The other day, on Christmas, I turned to Banana and told her that the sweetest part of this holiday was that I was still here. She looked at me quizzically, and I told her she would understand some day. In the mean time, being here means that I can make my life--and hers--a better place.