I had one of those days where my mind constantly wandered to topics and people I did not want to think about. Why do the things I least want to invade my life, continue to do so with sickening frequency? I have learned to rejoice in the stripping process, during which every thing I once valued has been taken away from me in one way or another. What I aggravates me is that the things I most want to rid myself of have such a nasty away of sticking around (for far too long). Memories linger. Sights and sounds bring me back to wounds I thought healed but that remain tender. I just want to be free.
Then my “fourth brother”, NJVS, called. NJVS has a way of poignantly speaking truth into my life. I crave truth and he understands that. He tells it like it is. There is no warm up. It comes one crushing punch after the other, destroying the illusions I attempt to create. His words break me apart and reveal the heart of the matter. There are no easy answers. There are no excuses. There is only the heart and soul of self, life, and faith.
There is no room for fluff in our friendship. Hard questions demand hard listening and a commitment to get into the muck and glory of life with the other person. Our friendship has outlasted boy/girlfriends, jobs, graduate school, and the failures and (delicate) successes of living into oneself.
In the days leading up to NJVS’s birthday I am reminded of what a precious gift he has been and continues to be to me. He is a fount of encouragement, grace, laughter, and, above all, brutally beautiful honesty.
Thank you, NJVS.
3.29.2010 – Corner Garden (Orange, CA)*
Bear Hands, “What a Drag”