Experience and Togetherness

One day riding my bike in one of those metropolises I lived in, a guy rode up to me and started a conversation. It was a really hot day, and I welcomed the conversation to keep my mind off the tough ride, as I was going uptown and uphill. He invited me to go to the pool somewhere way up north one day, where he worked as a life guard. So, off I went that day, and was led to one of those pools that I haven't seen since boarding school, the old-fashioned cement kind. So, it was a surreal day. And then it was made even more surreal when I met a girl from Sweden who was so young, and yet had so much life experience. She told me about a friend of hers in school who wanted to commit suicide, and how she would argue with her against it, and how, in the end, she saved her friend by agreeing that she would slit her wrist with this girl, but that they would not slit their wrists too deeply. What a bizarre story. Of course, they both lived. The girl was severely reprimanded by her father, but she saved her friend. What has stayed with me all these years about that story is the level of self sacrifice on the part of that girl. How many people are there, I wonder, who would do that for a friend.
There is that Aristotelian saying. You don't know a man until you've shared the proverbial sack of salt with him.
It seems to me that at this time, in this age, not many people remember what friendship is (re-member). Some people so quickly resort to name-calling/labeling and push others away (bordering on the destructive, which is no good). One needs patience to be able to understand others, and also needs to be able to see life from someone else's view. And I don't mean a drug-induced postmodern prism; one can only truly see another if one knows where one stands. If one is centered. This is how one can control one's narrative, there will be a place for other narrative, but the other narrative will not overcome one's own sense of self.
These days, I keep coming back to the word "cure" (with the etymological root: concern; and with connections to the context of "making whole"). Who doesn't have hang-ups/problems? Are we not supposed to learn to lessen the moments of internal drama in our lives? Can we stand next to others and, experience what they do, and then try to articulate it for them? I think that this process can be intuitive, that one can do this without even being aware, and may get lost in other people's problems, but the point is: it is time to leave the tunnel and go out into the sunlight.

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