Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On Humor and Companionship

In looking back on my first year or so of blog entries in 2008, I realized two things:

1- I wrote mostly about people and boring happenings
2- I wrote with a very sarcastic, wise-ass sense of humor.

Interestingly, some of those posts were actually somewhat funny! Or at least I thought so.
And let's be honest, its not like more than maybe 2.5 people read this damn thing, so do I even CARE if anyone else thinks I'm funny??

So now that we have THAT established, I can reveal that while I still have that cocky sense of humor and enjoy making fun of anything and everything, I've developed more of a sincere appreciation for writing about things that require a little deep thinking.

Now, that in no way means that I've banished humor from these hallowed texts. On the contrary, I appreciate humor now more than ever. At some point in life, after you've learned what real pain and loss is about, and after you've experienced massive disappointments and run the gauntlet of emotions associated with love, friendship, family, fear, hopelessness, pride and loneliness, you realize the true value of humor in life. Not as a distraction to living, but as the gentle bumpers on the road to happiness that keep you from falling in the gutter.

Once, several years ago, someone told me that I seem to act like everything is a joke.
That statement bothered me.
I understood why she said that, because I have a light-hearted and joking personality, but it irked me because as much as I want to be the person who can make you laugh, I also want to be the person who you can have a deep, personal, meaningful and insightful conversation with about anything and everything.
FYI - I believe I am that person.

In addition to humor, I've also learned about the intricacies of companionship.
This past weekend I was discussing with my friend about our current and past experiences with relationships. One theme that he touched on was companionship.
Emotionally and figuratively, having companionship is the opposite of loneliness.
I've always been a guy who's enjoyed solitude and privacy because I feel like those two things force one to discover a true sense of self through the lack of external influence - which is important. However, companionship is something that is so easy to swear off as unnecessary right up until the very moment you realize you crave it so badly.
But, just like being alone doesn't really mean you're lonely, having someone there doesn't always mean you have companionship.

I've been right next to someone I've loved yet felt incredibly lonely, and I've also felt like I've had true companionship even though there was no one else around for miles.

Sometimes the logic and emotion of love and life aren't aligned, and you find yourself baffled and hurt, and all you really want is just someone there by your side, someone just to feel close to,someone to just touch and know they're there with you and for you because they really want to be, just as you want to be there with them. If only for a day, or even just a few hours, its that physical and emotional closeness that can provide a needy soul with a much-needed dose of companionship.

And remember, whether you're in each other's arms or one of you is on earth while the other is on the moon, love and closeness know no physical distance when the heart is what bonds you together.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Listening in the Night

It's dark out, and I heard him yet again.

I heard him for the first time three days ago.
As I walked out the door on my way to the car, my keen hearing picked up on a very faint but familiar sound. Walking around my building for a while to see what I could discover, the sound had ceased so I couldn't find him.

Then around 2am that night I heard him yet again.
I knew that sound very well.
It was a kitten.
A young one.

That first night I heard him outside - alone - meowing non-stop until about 7am. Several times that night I woke up, as I'm sure others did in my complex, from his constant cries. He stopped finally once the sun was up and more people were stirring about.

The second night he was back once more.
I came home late and upon getting out of my car, I heard him yet again.
This time I walked towards his crying, determined to find the little creature who sounded so pathetically lost, and finally I saw him - meowing and terrified - crouched down between a car and the curb.

I think he spotted me the same time I spotted him.
He was likely scared when he saw me, but my heart sank a little when I saw him.
He was younger than I'd hope he'd be.
Four, maybe five weeks old at best, which is not good news.
Kittens that young are barely old enough to be weaned, and the fact that this little guy is all by himself wasn't a good sign. I know cats well enough, and I knew the reality of his chances of survival.

My attempts to call him over and get any closer were foiled when his learned response to flee humans kicked in and he took off. Hiding under a car a little ways down, he once again started up his futile cries for mama, who was nowhere to be found. If I could just get close, maybe I could nab him and take him in and feed him, but he'll never let anyone get near.

Abandoned, alone, and scared.
I wonder how often people feel like that, and how often their cries for help go ignored.

Its easy to feel lost in this world. Things can so quickly be taken away from us that we're left baffled and numb with no idea what to do. Even sometimes when help might be just a few steps away, you're too terrified to let it even get close. The fear you so wish would leave you alone, is at the same time driving you farther from the help you so desperately need.

Whether you're the one feeling lost and crying out for help, or the one who hears someone else's cries, you need to have the strength and compassion to embrace another person for the betterment of you both. Don't accept waiting for someone else to come along, because that might never happen. It's up to you to be the important difference.

"We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own."
~Ben Sweetland

His constant crying did bother me, as I'm sure it did everyone else who heard it throughout the night. It made it difficult to sleep not only for the mere annoyance of it, but for the realization of what it meant.

But now, tonight, I stand on my balcony listening anxiously, and hear only the normal sounds of the night............................

..........and that bothers me even more.