6 strings, a fire, and a friend

I've been away for the weekend enjoying myself at our church's annual winter retreat. I apparently looked like I was angry the whole weekend because people kept asking me if I was ok or what I was pissed off about. It was rather surprising as I didn't feel angry. I was, I'll admit, quite stressed. I am an introvert by nature and find it very stressful at these retreats. Being around people, even people I love and think the world of, drains me and can get me pretty sour.

Why was I sharing this? Oh yeah, people kept asking me if I was angry. I wasn't. I've been lost in thought a lot lately. I recently remade contact with an old friend from high school. She was a close friend that meant a lot to me, more than she'll ever know. She was closer than any male friend I've ever had. She was simply a best friend. And I deserted that friendship 15 years ago after a spat that is way too complicated to explain here.

I tried to apologize once over the last 15 years, but I think both of us knew it was a half assed apology. I've been wrestling with my guilt over that dissolution now that we're back in contact. It was that guilt that others were reading on my face.

Saturday evening of the retreat, the common area where we had the talent show had fairly well cleared out. There was a fire in the hearth and the dozen or so members who stuck around were playing games or reading. I had been avoiding playing guitar in the common area partly out of modesty and partly out of not wanting to annoy. But, my mood was getting the better of me and I needed to play. I got out my guitar, sat by the fire and strummed. I played some of my favorite progressions as well as some Travis picking that I'm always trying to do better at. Mostly I just noodled while watching the fire and felt my mind go blank for a while. A friend pulled up a chair next to me and pulled out a book. I asked if I was bothering her after a while and she said no. I got the impression that she was enjoying the music.

The combination of the guitar, the fire and the friend was joy to experience. It was exactly what I had been looking for. It was a time to reflect and make some decisions. It was restoration. It was relief. It was release.

Apparently I still looked pissed off because people still kept asking, but, really, I was just lost in thought.

I've written to my friend from my youth. I decided to offer a full apology in place of the half assed one. I'm afraid that bringing up the past will undo the tentative connection we've reestablished. On the other hand, I know that I have offered myself in sincerity and can now live with myself for finally admitting that I was wrong.

1/26/09 Follow Up for anyone who made it this far: I am forgiven. And another troubling chapter of my past is at peace.


  1. Saints and Spinners said...
    I am so glad.
    K. Jay said...

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