This morning I thought of my beautiful friend Michal The Girl who died a few days ago. I think of her and her loving husband Jay, and I picture them cracking jokes, talking in funny anime voices, and doing those strangely familiar things that people do when they have been together for a long time. Perhaps I am becoming bored with instant gratification and the never-ending stream of “new” things on my computer screen because it has recently dawned on me how much I love, and hold dear, the familiar.
When I say familiar, I am not talking about being comfortable. To be “comfortable”, I once read in an Osho book, is to have one foot in the grave. The familiar is something magical and invigorating, like my morning cup of coffee or a game of Scrabble: familiar, yet with new life.
My parents are a perfect example. I could point to at least twenty habits each that have gone unchanged my entire life. They may poke each other the way they have for 25 years, but when I remember to breathe in and listen, I notice that my parents are a little different from the day before.
While the old becomes new, the new can also be quite old and familiar. Most obvious, perhaps, is the new stranger in my life. The face is new, the habits unknown, yet there is something deeply familiar as I breathe up my spine--that strangely familiar scent.
Life is like the bloom of a rose in slow motion. Many of us don’t like to see it that way because, in our minds, we register that the rose wilts and dies, and we see that as less beautiful.
But, whether the dried shell of one hangs on our walls, or the effusive blooms of many sit on our dining tables, a rose is always magical and invigorating. Each one has a familiar, yet unique fragrance. It takes its time blooming and then wilts quickly when it is finished. Does that equate to people blooming late in life? That is what I see with my parents. I listen and look at them, and they are just beginning to radiate with wisdom. Why is it that each day life becomes a little more beautiful than the day before? Is the rose blooming or wilting? Does it even matter?
This is for Michal and Jay, my parents, and the stranger. This is for the people I meet and the places I go, the music in my head, and the emotions of my soul, all of which give off that strangely familiar scent.