For me, the most painful form of losing touch involves not knowing how to find my way back. Such that geography is only one fraction of why a connection no longer exists. More than anything, it’s that I – and/or they – have forgotten, or forsaken, some fundamental part of who we were when that friendship and connection felt meaningful, felt unbreakable.
It’s particularly difficult to see old friends again after a long time and a great distance apart. It’s a risk that occasionally pays off, but often destroys the illusion I have about what that relationship is. It disallows my illusion from continuing. And that sort of discovery collapses assumptions upon which I have built my life. It changes my world.
Several summers ago, my friend revisited his childhood neighborhood and discovered that his old home – which he had not lived in for over a decade – had been demolished. And although he hadn’t been there – hadn’t even considered it – in years, the fact that its physical existence was something he could no longer count on upset his deepest foundations. It’s like that, I think, when I return only to find that my friendships and the people in them have changed, that home is not what it used to be, and that no one really knows how to find it again.
Heavy thoughts on a Saturday. (My apologies.)