Friendly Considerations

I did not join the family for the expedition into Tlaquepaque yesterday, due to my concern that my gut might not cooperate. As it happened, though, I was over the worst of the “bug” by the time the trip began. I rested, watched “Inside Bill’s Brain” (I think that’s the name…a documentary about Bill Gates), and otherwise chilled. I washed a load of laundry and showered and shaved. ”Twas a slow-moving morning. By 2:00 pm, I was ready for food, so I walked down to lakeside and had nachos at an open-air restaurant.

When the crowd returned, a couple of my nephews zipped by to give me a ride to my brother’s house. As usual, we feasted on far more food than I needed; I feel that overindulgence again this morning. I could not sleep past 4:30, so I arose and went downstairs to try to get over my gluttony. No coffee, not even water. Just sitting and hoping I will feel better in time for our 10:00 am pedicure appointments. We shall see.

Food can become an enemy when consumed in the absence of sufficient discipline. And, though it can join alcohol as a happy social lubricant, food’s tendency to fill every empty social space overwhelm’s the body’s ability to process the experience. I write these words as a lesson to myself; though whether the lesson will stick now, after umpteen times (to the seventh power) is questionable.

Last night, my sister and my youngest nephew and I had a brief conversation about friendship. It was one of those conversations that could have gone on for hours, but the dinner bell interrupted. The conversation would have evolved, I think, into a discussion involving the degree to which mental intimacy, personal interests, trust, risk, diversity, and a willingness to put another’s interests ahead of one’s own are required for deep friendships to develop. And, I suspect, the dialog would have explored how friendship differs from “acquaintanceship,” if the latter exists as an early phase of friendship. My guess is that we would have talked about the absolute necessity for a common definition of friendship between potential friends in order for friendship to evolve. That last element of the conversation is one to which I think few people give much thought. We’ve all read stories in which some version of the utterance, “I thought you were my friend,” is either said or thought by a character disappointed by a “friend’s” behavior. That disappointment stems from either a shattered trust or a disparity in understanding the commitments intrinsic to friendship. Friendship is, to me, an interesting subject because true friendship (in my definition) is extremely rare. I see a lot of moderately deep acquaintanceship, but not much concrete friendship. It all depends on one’s expectations, I suppose, and the degree to which one is either an idealist or a pragmatist. Pragmatism seems so bleak and so vacant; idealism is the currency of romantics. Well, this has turned into an overly-long paragraph.

Since we arrived in Ajijic last week, several explosions take place nearby in the early hours of every morning. They sound very close, like the fireworks are set off just outside our windows, but the narrow streets and close proximities of buildings might make the sounds deceiving. I have heard various explanations for these early morning blasts, but none have completely satisfied my curiosity. I think I will make it my mission to find out not only why the blasts are taking place but who is responsible…children, adults, religious scholars, ordnance experts…?

The bed in which we’ve been sleeping these last several days (and in which we will sleep for several more) is hard. My shoulders are unhappy with the unyielding mattress. So, our return home will be welcome from that perspective. But we have one more night in a motel after we leave Ajijic and before we get home. We get back to Dallas late Thursday afternoon; then, the next morning, we head back to HSV. What a quick trip!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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