For today's Friday Five please tell us 5 things you like to do with friends. Are they local - do you hit a favorite coffee shop or nail salon? What about the friends who come in from out of town? Do you have a restaurant or museum you like to show off?Real vs. ideal keeps meeting me face-to-face (hitting me over the head); since I'm still trying hard to reweave social and professional networks and still trusting both will happen when I'm not looking, here's a list of what I used to do and would like to do again. BTW, as many excuses as I make for this being Southern California and the 21st century, those factors must be only minor, since all around me in real life and in online comments and status updates I observe people socializing with friends and living a life not too dissimilar to the way mine used to be. In sage green, here's my 5:
1. Lunch has gotta be first on the list, preferably at a nice but affordable sit-down restaurant, but Mexican fast food will do in a $$$ pinch.
2. An afternoon at the beach. Walking along the shore in cooler weather, talking and snacking under an umbrella or in a cabaña in summer months or early autumn.
3. A day at the zoo or safari park, formerly wild animal park.
4. Anza-Borrego State Park: the desert again, maybe especially when and if it's in glorious bloom, but always at other times to be stripped clean and to know beneath its bleak, crazed beauty life teams, sometimes unseen and not perceived, but remembered, re-called, and trusted.
5. I'm longing to have peeps in my life again who'll simply stop by my place and will be excited about helping me pick out my entry to the next art show, willing to read and comment on my recent theology blog, my latest thrift store find.
What people tend to hear me say is I'm not getting the ministry opps I crave and need, and I'm definitely not, though those were starting to reweave and regenerate a few years ago but then dropped off into a bottomless abyss. Something I can do about the situation is to get out of rationalization and denial...? Spending days, months, years and now decades without real life friends is similar to being without nutritious food. As persistently and wisely as I claim and rejoice in the sacraments and the liturgy that connect me with the whole people of God in every place and time, that simply is not enough. I feel brittle but I know I'm too tough to really break.
Thanks, Kathryn; peace, world!