The days have been cold and wet and has been for some time. One gets these middle-of-the-night thoughts...the one last night was, if not surprising or particularly new, enlightening to me. I suppose transcribing Betty and my letters for the new book I am putting together has placed me back in time. A recognition about how the closest and most important people in our lives move away. Moments that you felt somehow eternal, are transient. They cannot last. People are transient. Losing touch with Betty for twenty-nine years struck that chord. We could not have been closer, and yet that friendship inhabited a particular time in life, and then it ended. I can think of so many other people. She was an unknown by then. It makes it clearer to me what the Buddhists' say about loss, being in the now, and letting go. We do let go, but sometimes it takes time. More to the point seems to be that one can't assume that we will be tied together by virtue of a time spent together forever. There is no forever on this plane. Those ties will loosen and float away. Most often I accept that, as others do. We go on with our lives, remembering sometimes vaguely of those ties which for a period of time bound us to each other. That became clearer to me in the darkness of last night. We are no more, except maybe an occasional surfacing memory that will bring that time back to them or to me, for a moment. That particular kind of loss doesn't always feel real, until it does, and when it does, I understand completely the journey we travel on. The connections we have made and then have let go of. The memory of certain times from a backward look can be visceral and immediate, but no longer have the ability to stay or ever be again. There is sadness in this recognition, but the truth of loss of each moment of our lives that ended when that moment ended is what it is. Life IS immediate. What occupies me now will be over as it is being lived. We will step from each of our now moments to the next now moment. The parade of time really does move forward. You can stand in one place and you will still be moving. Now becomes then just like that. then...is now a memory. It no longer exists. It is a "was", a has- been. It will never happen again...If I counted and contemplated the seconds of my life, I would be struck deeply by the meaning of time, the filling of time. The movement of time. The inevitable change. We are not static. That's the realization which while not very clever, became very real and an amazing understanding that went towards acceptance.
Excerpt from Best Friends