Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Yoga of Friendship

(Ted's in the air so Ben-chan's got the conch.)
Listening to Bowie and eating chips and salsa, I slowly come down from the buzz of two pints of post-yoga Guinness that I just finished with Ted at Dubliners. It's good to have my friend around again after a long absence. Or perhaps brother is the more appropriate term -- though born in different places, to different parents, at different times, we are somehow connected by a bond that pushes the limits of friendship.

It's a wonder--as I push 30--that I have any friends left at all. My community since college has slowly succumbed to personal apathy and the fragmenting influences of post-industrial post-modern existence. The bleakness and loneliness in the American soul that Coltrane and others saw (thanks, Ted) find their greatest exemplar in me. Why, otherwise, would I have taken off for far-flung shores?

What a gift, then, what a fine blessing to have a friend who I can be both obliviously stupid and stop-drop-and-roll serious with. We talk So-Cal-like, saying "dude" and knowing the precise meaning of each of ten different intonations. We guffaw when one of us farts (OK, at least I do). We discuss things that matter: sex, politics, vagabonding, and the meaning of existence (yes, in that order). We talk about love and loss and the quantum trajectories of our lives--If I try to pin myself down, I'll surely miss--and it is the talking and the simple walking through the fog-washed hills overlooking San Francisco that bring a kind of transcendence, a sort of samadhi-through-camaraderie.

I have a new term for this practice: the yoga of friendship.

Much love, my friend, and come back soon.
-- Ben

On the turntable: David Bowie, "Ziggy Stardust"
On the nighttable: Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"


-c said...

I loved reading this! Ben's Ode to the Yoga of Farts... er... Friendship was right on! Cheers, dude!

ted said...

Thanks for the kind words, my brother from another mother.