I’ve worked out a little theory about the cycle of dreams in the past two days. First, you’ve got to be lucky enough to have the time and space to dream. Then you’ve got to recognize your dream. Then you’ve got to make it happen. In the words of a favorite author, “dreams mean work”. It’s the making it happen that can often be arduous and seemingly never-ending. (That’s where my husband and I are now and I find it rather mind-numbing). Eventually, you are living your dream and life is good. I’ve know some people who got there and thinking of them often keeps me going. Along the way, we meet people and while I certainly prescribe to the notion that each and every relationship we have is a blessing, some relationships are more pleasant than others. And sometimes we are drawn out of our own reality for a spell to receive blessings and feed our lonely hearts.
I say all this because I had a beautiful and timely reminder this weekend of what is most important to me. Somehow through the fog of my present state, I knew that I had to get to Brooklyn, NY on Sunday October 27, a very dear friend of mine was getting married. I have been in the midst of working my tail off, so I had evaluated whether or not to attend her wedding with two equal parts, pragmatic and obligatory. By the time Adele and I arrived via red eye flight, which is far less fun now that I’ve been sleep deprived for upwards of two years (I used to take that flight regularly as an apprentice in my Pilates certification program); I was thinking of my sweet friend and how happy I was for her, listening to one of our favorite albums while riding the subway. I got off on a tangent about the importance of rites of passage and how meaningful it is for us each to pass through them, and how special it is to bear witness to others doing this. I knew that I was going for something special. I knew that I’d traveled a long distance for a very good reason, to participate in a ritual, to support my friend, and to give myself the gift of bearing witness.
I was right. But it wasn’t until it all happened that I truly remembered. That’s when I realized just how many blessings had been bestowed upon me through the years, and how good it was for me to come. To bear witness, yes. But also to remember. I also saw, my even older friend who was the one who brought my friend the bride and I together (fifteen years ago when I moved to California). These two ladies were my companions through my twenties. I learned so much from them. But seeing them again, now that we’ve been separated by a continent for many years, I realized the most important lesson that they both gave me over and again in so many different ways: how to be a friend. To oneself, and to others. Friends do things like fly across the country for one day to attend weddings. Even when they are in the midst of the strenuous tasks of making one’s dreams reality. Even when they are sick. Even when they are broke. Friends show up against all the odds, and they shower you with love during your biggest moments. Friends dance at your wedding. Because the commitment of marriage is so big, and so enduring that it must be celebrated with the biggest expression of love and joy that each person present can muster. And dancing is the best full-bodied way of demonstrating that love. (And yes, we danced the hasapico to Zorba’s theme. There was a lady in our midst who most surely spent her youth dancing that dance. But I only realized that once I’d got us going. What a special surprise for me, I just love that dance and to see it danced by somebody with a lifetime of experience is a beautiful sight.) It was my friend who first made the long journey to my wedding three years ago. Amidst all sorts of perfectly legitimate and reasonable reasons for not attending, she came. She sat at my side, and I was so grateful to have her there with me. Time and again, she taught me what it means to have your friend’s back. And now, perhaps it is safe to say that I have learned something very important from her: to lead with the heart, to be guided by love. The heart’s vision after all, is always 20:20.
I’m home now, trying my darnedest to avoid mastitis or a cold, but eternally grateful for my good friends and the love that we share. I sincerely hope that my next trip to NYC will be longer with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the company of those ladies who are dear to me, their families and loved ones who now surround them in the big apple, and to have them enjoy my son and my husband too.
Here are a few photos from our trip. Adele got to see Central Park after we had breakfast at the Plaza. After that, I had to go see a lady about a unitard and then I was thoroughly spent. I had romantic visions of walking along the Brooklyn side of the bridge and photographing Adele and my dress there in the shadows of that famous architectural landmark with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. But the only energy I could muster landed me in cab bound for the “girls getting ready” party. I managed to get one more photo taken, of the dress, the gorgeous bride, and Adele. I’ll have to rely on my memories rather than on lots of photos. But maybe that’s better. Memories go straight to the heart.