Friday, June 5, 2009

Kindred Spirits

   How can you meet people throughout your life, fall in love with some of them, and become enemies with others?
   I am lucky that I have good friends. I have wonderful friends, who spend time with me and support me, who listen to me and guide me. I have friends who are the absolute epitome of what human beings are supposed to be. I admire them, I love them, I am thankful for them. I worry about them, and I get sad when they are hurt or ill. They are living things, biological in nature. Subject to the same growth, metabolic needs and age restraints as other living things. We all must face our mortality at some point, and yet it doesn't make me sad to envision our enemies facing their mortality. I wonder why I feel this way - this "lack of remorse" for my enemies' mortality. Is there some evolutionary explanation for this? Why shouldn't I be sad that another human being will eventually crumble to dust?
   I went to the Hobby Shop on Front Street today. I didn't need a model airplane or boat, but I really went in there to visit the three eccentric old men who run the place. The eldest of the three greeted me in the aisle and asked if he could help me. I told him that I had been in earlier and bought a lot of stuff, so I had just come in to say hi. He said proddingly, with his eyes big, "Let's think about the future, not the past!"
   Once when I had been in the Hobby shop, two of the men were watching YouTube videos of an airplane approaching a landing strip that was near a public beach. People on the beach were knocked over by the back wash from the plane. The men were laughing and telling stories, and I could tell one of them used to be a commercial pilot. He said the pilot of that aircraft probably had no idea what had happened to those people because "you can't see what goes on behind you." He had such a dry sense of humor, he reminded me of my late friend and flight instructor Don Langford. What was it about these men that seemed so familiar? They were smart, they were very experienced pilots, and they had the same style of cracking jokes. No nonsense. No bullshit! I liked the man instantly. He was definitely a kindred spirit to my late friend. I was sad that they would not be able to meet each other.
I visited with my friends tonight at our usual Friday night gathering. We all have a lot in common. Tonight I wondered about all the people we've never met, who have come and gone, who maybe lived in a different state or a different country or even a different time, who would have fit in nicely with our motley crew of concerned, thoughtful citizens. Books and journals may be the only way you can get to know someone who lived before your time. I felt a need to scour through as much literature as possible, to try and connect with people who would hold special meaning to me, if only I could've met them in real time.

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