My Old Friends

Like old friends there is much to be told when you’ve been away from each other’s stories for a while. Much to be shared, to catch up on and why do we care? Because this is a book we want to read! The subject matter is always of interest to us. The small details and the larger plot of a thing, described in detail that feels like its being painted before your eyes in living color. Though in print, placed between two covers its merely ink on paper. But in opening it up, allowing the words to breathe, to form into stories; some that bring a smile, some that break your heart, some that make that same heart beat so fast you can barely catch your breath . . . These are the stories that connect us and keep us held together as enduring friends.

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A beginning, a middle and an end. Pages and chapters and themes bound together tell the story of a life and a friendship filled with loss and love, illness and recovery, then more loss and despair. Some chapters do not have a happy ending though we wish they all did. They just don’t though the urge to edit and rewrite them is strong.

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But thank God for all the daily doings that comprise a life and a friendship. The dailies that keep the storyline moving along. Will it come to a flourishing finish or a flatlining fizzle? Will we find that illusive herd of longhorn (yesterday’s story) or never ever be able to locate them? Sometimes the search itself, the search for the longhorns or the perfect ice cream sundae, or the gravesite of an ancestor or a once shared wisdom will fill chapter after chapter after chapter.

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The seemingly insignificant daily steps of any journey aren’t just “filler” and not just throw-away words on the way to a Pulitzer prize; the real meat of it all; the plot that we’ve come to expect will develop. The book, the friend, there’s sooo much to be discovered, considered, developed in our thought life. It’s exhilarating! And yet if we take the simplistic and thoughtless approach that this one seems familiar as if we’ve seen it all before; read this same basic storyline and we think we know how it all ends we just might miss the greatest story ever told.

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There is mystery in the small occurrences and minor details that may seem so insignificant as to be overlooked. Keep your eyes open and your heart open—to good books to good friends and all the stories that they tell. The real wisdom will often be found in between the lines.