Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Two little thoughts

Just in light of stuff going on with people in my life in various ways.

1. This was a literal shower thought - as in, I was in the shower when it came into my head:

"Jean-Paul Sartre famously said 'Hell is other people,' but sometimes other people can also be Heaven."

2. And I immediately thought of a quotation I read - oh years and years ago, I forget where:

"We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." - Luciano de Crescenzo (I don't know much about him; apparently he is an Italian writer, actor, and engineer - an interesting combination, that).

And when I first saw that - as I said, years and years ago (or I may be conflating it with the thing attributed to Plato about us all having half a soul and having to find the other half, which still is kind of "bleah" to me because it presupposes The Perfect Soulmate)

Anyway, when I first saw it, I think I was like in my 20s, and disappointed in love, and I rolled my eyes hard and was like "yeah, well, then I guess I just get to be the grounded angel then"

But as I've gotten older, I've realized that "embracing" doesn't necessarily have to be romantically. That it can be through friendship, or mutual support, or family, or....well, any number of things. Being part of the bell choir is like that for me; I find I reach a level of peace and connectedness I rarely get otherwise.

And I do have good friends. I'm just....I tend to be a little more standoffish and private than some people but I do know people care deeply about me.

And the embracing thing....I never used to be a "hugger;" I was actually kind of touch-averse and was also kind of like "I'm a scientist so I have to seem dignified and serious" but as I've gotten older, I've found that I welcome hugs (at least from some people, and I find it's easy to tell a "potentially creepy" hug from a heartfelt one, and I've not had a "potentially creepy" one offered in years). Dana (the choir director) hugs me. Mike hugs me. Judy (my retired colleague who is now a fellow congregant) hugs me some times. Wanda (the current AAUW president) hugs me. My colleague Doug even hugged me once, that funny little side hug some men do when they don't want people to read anything into it (and I didn't; I took it for what it was, an expression of simple friendship).

And I've kind of made my peace with the fact that romantic love may never be in the cards for me. It would be nice, but I also suspect it's highly unlikely given my life circumstances and the fact that I doubt I'd be willing to uproot at this point and also I dislike the idea of things like wading through online dating....but I'm mostly OK with that.

But friends. Oh, it's essential to me to have friends. Both friends I see in-person on a regular basis (the people at church, the people in AAUW, my colleagues) and faraway friends, some of whom my only connection is through electrons.

But yes, as much as humanity frustrates me, I do love and care deeply about certain individual people. (And perhaps - if I knew more of humanity like I know Dana and Mike and Wanda and Doug, I might be better at forgiving their personality quirks or the occasionally foolish things they do.)

1 comment:

Lynn said...

I had a really weird hugging experience years ago. I was introduced to my brother-in-law's girlfriend's mother, a complete stranger to me, and she immediately reaches out to hug me. I thought it was a bit odd but I didn't resist, then she says, "Oh, you're hugger, okay," as if I was the one who had initiated it and she was feeling all awkward about it when actually it was the opposite. I'm really glad that relationship ended and I never had to encounter her again.