All things considered, I am not at all sorry my friend followed through on her promise to get me on a cruise. I am sorry she was uncomfortable from the cold, but I'm glad we both got to see a whole new piece of America. Without her insistence that we go, I would likely never have seen the things I saw this summer. For that, above all else, I have to thank her.
Were it not for my own depressions, and the difficulty I have every day trying to overcome my eremitic leanings, I suspect I'd have been less of a disappointment to my friend and her family. I know she wanted for us all to have the wildly, extravagantly good time on this trip that she had experienced on her Caribbean cruises, and I also know that the party life was never attractive to me, even in my days of youth, when I could hold my liquor and act with some reckless abandon. I wish, in many ways, I could have shown her how much pleasure I found in just sitting quietly and drinking in the scenery...even just to look out at the open, ever-changing ocean, or the rolling waves of earth that are the Prairie. Even when I was in pain, the light reaching my eyes did ultimately touch my soul.
I wish, also, that my body and mind were not so much my enemies. What would, for any normal, healthy person have been two weeks of unequalled delight were brought lower, especially on the last two days of our vacation, in large part due to pain. That, of course, is unlikely to improve.
In spite of myself, though, I brought home some memories I will cherish until the day my mind is gone, whether that be before, or after the rest of me leaves the planet. For all of this, I have my friend to thank.
Mary, you have been a very good friend to me, and I am grateful to all the powers that be, that we met.
(Click on any picture to embiggen.)
|Friends, memorial, Nebraska|
|Happy mountain is happy|