Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.
You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those you can't forget. Those are your friends.
People Who Contributed to Some Dear Memories
The word "nostalgia" was invented long ago, of course, but it may particularly mean a lot to all ex-immigrants who also happen to be of the baby-boomers generation -- myself fitting in both categories.
So many people, so many places staying back there that turned into many dear memories. As we grow older, our long term memory tends to go overactive, while we may go in another room and not remember why we came there.
Well, this second part I have not reached as yet, but it's true that many of those far away events seem like they happened as recently as last week.
Somehow, blending with all those distant times of life are certain experiences with friendly people of more recent dates, but looking finite due to their slim chances of being repeated.
Names like Camilo, Yasmina, Boris, Catarina, Ivan, Veronica, Tony, Paul, Florian...and so many others come to mind, in a list that makes me wonder about the transitory nature of friendships that looked so promising at their time, only to turn temporary.
Indeed, what am I supposed to do with all their files in the archive of my mind, containing even those many confided intimate secrets? Is it supposed to be merely added to the rest of the memory junk, together with my previous telephone numbers and details of performing all those jobs in the past?
There is one cherished exception among all those people long gone from my life. It's my friend Susana, a professional psychoanalyst, born and living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We started as pen pals at age of 15, then stopped as I went to do my military service in the communist ex-Yugoslavia, where I was not allowed to communicate with anyone abroad for the "risk of disclosing military secrets."
For the next half century it looked like our respective lives would forever keep us apart -- when one day, while here in Canada, I just took a chance to send her a little card to the only address that I still kept in my mind.
The chances of her receiving it were more than slim, as she must have got married and left that place long ago. Well, as it turned out, her mother, then in her 90's still lived there with her maid, and long-story-short, Susana got my card with my email address -- and I was truly overjoyed when I received an email from her.
That was about ten years ago, and we are still corresponding, resolute to stay these "virtual friends" for the rest of our lives. It's not likely that we may ever meet, but I must say that our friendship has been more meaningful than many of those in-person ones.
Of course, a number of times we had intellectual arguments over matters like diagnostics and treatments in psychotherapy -- because I don't agree with psychoanalysis where it views man as an emotional slave to his past, and some other details.
But then we would laugh it away for the sake of friendship and continue writing about everyday stuff -- until the next argument, of course.
Out of a sheer endearment, either of us would mention how a nice little novel could have been written about our friendship.
I am certainly delighted that our friendship has not turned into one of those temporary ones -- especially considering our intellectual differences, and also the ones with temperament, hers being a "hot" Latino one, and mine being pretty much phlegmatic, or call it "cool".
False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.
Christian Nestell Bovee
It's Not Them -- It's Me
I can't but smile as I am remembering the pretty long list of my "fans" at this Hub Pages writers' network -- which magically disappeared over the time.
That satiric in me promptly comments on that with: "Hey. Val, you old fool, they were your fans before they got to know you better."
As usual, I don't argue with that satiric voice in me.
Namely, some writers of this website have created a nice little community of cyber-friends, generously and persistently supporting one another with praises -- which I found too "reciprocate" and oftentimes completely ungrounded as to take a part in it.
While there is nothing wrong about any mutual encouragement -- myself being something of an oddball in that matter -- I find it too artificial, ever since I would get one of such flattering praises from someone who would also give one to a piece of literary crap.
At that point it would just make me wonder if I was merely "just next on the list" to receive praises that day.
Well, like I say, it's not them -- it's me, as they have a perfect right to keep pampering each other's writer's ego as much as they please and in the process also make each other feel good about themselves, which many may miss.
Besides, there is another reason why all of those "fans" quit being that -- and it must have a lot to do with my big liberated mouth, as my niche often reminds people of their being brainwashed, or lazy-minded, or selling to others their selective social image, or otherwise reminding them of their flaws and imperfections.
Of course, then I make it unappealing even further by my mentioning my "achievements" in area of self-betterment -- which is actually meant to inspire somewhat -- but looks like downright shameless bragging, even like playing a "superiority card".
Well, I have no interests at all to go apologetic about it -- it's simply as it is, and our individual differences must be way too strong as to be forgivable in many of those eyes.
So I write for those few who are obviously existent because they keep giving me constant views. But mostly I really write for my own fun, as I like seeing my thoughts formed into an article or a rhymed piece often containing a message.
Friendships or not, writing is still a good medium to convey our ideas to a few individuals who may resonate with a similar worldview and positions.
I started this post with the mention of nostalgia -- so, for the sake of memories about all those temporary friendships, here I made the following little rhyme.
Some say that time changes. Best friends can become strangers.
-- Good Charlotte
Friendships in the Mist of Memories
In my mind's museum with gallery of faces
many are smiling so friendly and so dear
coming from different times and places
now being so distant -- yet so near.
By the will of a strange and whimsical fate
somehow they were not meant to stay
leaving their trace in heart so great
after just abruptly fading away.
It's like other good things in our life
slipping through our fingers like sand
while in clenched fist we hold on to strife
something hard to even start to understand.
If it's true we reap in life whatever we sow
maybe we stop deserving what we cherish
but then it becomes much easier to know
why flowers in vase are doomed to perish.
Because if left alone and just admired from afar
they would stay nourished by the love of soil
but our life decoration -- not what they are
so it's what friendship manages to spoil.
To many of them I would say good-bye
but memories keep them present in time
so I am letting it all be, with just a little sigh
and as a tribute to them all, writing this rhyme.
© 2022 Val Karas