Two days ago I was driving a long stretch between Northern Virginia and Asheville, North Carolina. My little head danced with lots of ideas for this space. I had two or three posts composed in my head. Then I arrived at my destination and have spent two days talking to one of my dearest friends and I realize now that every thought I have gets released once I express it fully. Last night we went to a production of Love’s Labours Lost in a park in Asheville. It was entertaining…I was told by my friends who have seen other performances by this group that this was probably the weakest performance, but all in all it was a nice way to spend the evening. About 20 minutes before the end of the play, we all noticed some Chinese lanterns floating up from the tree line, above the stage and then high into the sky before disappearing. One by one they marched. As one would disappear, another would start it’s journey up and over. My thoughts are like those lanterns. They are mesmerizing, to me and maybe a few kindred spirits while others concentrate on the play at hand. Once those thoughts have been fully expressed, they disappear and only occasionally will someone recollect this sweet thought that was here briefly. My friend is the king of recollection. If he thinks about it long enough he can tell you what you were wearing when you met. I’m lucky if I remember your name. I recently had a facebook friend request and I had to ask my friend, “Who’s this?” He gave me a dossier run-down of the would be friend so that I could say, “Oh yeah. I remember. Sure, I’ll friend them.”
We talked about his gift for detail and remembering which shoes you were wearing when you went to see 42nd Street. I don’t have that level of detail. I remember the emotions and oddly enough, the smells. When we were in college a friend and I went on a musical theatre study trip. We went and saw Anything Goes twice. I don’t remember all of the plot, but I remember that we waited outside the stage door so that we could meet the lead actor that we adored. We were giddy when John Barrowman came out and was sweet enough to pose with photos with us. I remember how happy we felt and knew then we had to go back the next night to see the show again. I wouldn’t have remembered the cute hat if I didn’t have that picture.
The friend I’m staying with now is an amazing actor and singer. His voice is so rich and pure. I remember that from college as well. I think that he is fastidious and very organized help him immensely in his career. His recall is most of the time lightning quick. He needs that to be successful in juggling his many projects. My strength in recognizing feelings and emotions helps me as a counselor. My ability to look past the details and get to the emotion behind the behavior serves me well.
So, now I’m getting ready to head back home. A year from now I doubt that I’ll remember the striped shirt I wore or even the name of the play we saw, but I’ll remember how those Chinese lanterns were a symbol to me and my teenage daughter of my dad, and that we spent time with someone we love and we made a new friend – and that it made us happy.