Friday, May 10, 2019

The secret potion

When it comes to concoctions with magical and healing properties nothing exceeds that of a revivifying social gathering; in particular, a one-on-one congregation with an old friend. Such was the special brew for this evening's elixir. After almost a decade of quietude we reunited with an erstwhile acquaintance. Our foregathering began very early this morning with a telephone call and a proposal to meet later this afternoon for coffee and a chat. It ended late this evening following a heartfelt congregation and a very agreeable dinner.

No doubt you're familiar with the adage that good friends can always effortlessly pick up from where they left off.  Well, I'm here to say it's true! Perhaps the most encouraging element of today's rally was that it reasserted the identical values for which I have always admired my longtime friend - generosity, humour, intelligence and kindness. These are clearly not small compliments.  Given their importance it naturally begs the question: why would we have allowed the association to drift apart? I can only respond that "out of sight, out of mind". Both of us diverged in our professional careers, geographically and commercially.  Like our respective clients, when the business vernacular between us evaporated, so too did our personal relationship. Nonetheless on the heels of our mutual retirement we have reignited the former commonality.

I don't for a minute expect that we've succeeded to translate this temporary rejuvenation into a long-lasting commitment, but importantly for me today's meeting recaptures the strength of what constitutes a meaningful relationship. It is easy to forget or overlook the delicate substance of what it is that makes an acquaintance valuable. Yet a mere moment of reactivation brings the embers to fire once again!

Much of what enlightens me about today's experience is not merely the particular detail of our former friendship but the general theme of conviviality which insinuates life's sometimes harsher, less dynamic reality. To be reacquainted with a profound human element of life is nothing short of a tonic. Quite frankly apart from the tarsome though predictable monotony of aging, I haven't much about which to complain. You would think that alone affords a greedy ambition for life, but it does not. The spark for living - at least for me - derives from the complexity of human relations. Unfortunately this Pollyanna perspective is not so saccharin as to extend one's magnanimity to the remote boundaries of some of the more disagreeable social ties.  Unfailing optimism is not always a subconscious bias towards the positive.  Some former alliances are simply doomed.

But when - as today - the secret potion is dispersed, the favours flow commensurately.  We quipped with one another, held one another to account with the sternness of conviction; we shared and exchanged; we did what friends do for friends, providing approbation and support; we recognized the importance of it all. It was a heady assembly to be sure! In the space of mere moments we advanced the progress of life by reaffirming its elemental features. I shall awaken tomorrow to a broader horizon!

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