Saturday, February 26, 2011
Today I'd like to riff about friends. For a guy who has lived his life pretty much without any real male amigos, I've got a batch of them now.
Have I ever written about how much I love these guys? (And when I say love, I'm not using the term as a metaphor; I really do love them.) They have become an integral part of my life that would be impossible to leave behind.
I've been a consultant for the last twelve years and am getting tired of the grind. I was thinking about applying for a job in a far-away city, a city that I enjoy and in the past would have found enticing. As I began to consider the prospect, I came to the conclusion that at this point in my life there is absolutely no way I could leave Utah. Why? I couldn't leave my friends.
Last night I had sixteen of my closest friends over for a talk and eat party. We all brought food and spent the evening talking and eating. The first person arrived a little after 7:00 and the last person left a little after 1:00.
The evening flew by and I can't remember being happier. While I love my family and enjoy being with them, for some reason the company of these good men takes me to an entirely different level. The only way I can describe it is social ecstasy--a feeling of unfettered bliss that I hoped would just go on and on and on.
I honestly can't tell you what it is about these men that makes them special. Their backgrounds are as diverse as any group of guys you'll find. Their personalities cover four quadrants of the MBTI and then some. Their vocations and avocations are all over the board. Some were married. Some weren't. Some are religious. Some are not. The interesting thing is that regardless of who or what we are to the world, it seems that to each other we are the world. I think that's what makes the difference.
Some years ago, I was sitting in a dilapidated bar in a village in western Kenya, when I heard Willie Nelson and Roger Miller sing a song "Old Friends" over a small tinny boom-box. The music and the location were definitely incongruous. But, as I listened to the lyrics I was touched; I couldn't help wondering if I would actually have a friend when I was old.
Thanks to these wonderful men, my friends who make my life so rich, I'm confident that I'll always have a hand to hold and an arm to lean on. When the time eventually comes, how grateful I am to know that they will be there.
Old Friends - Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Ray Price