transient community

As I thought long and deep about the friendships and relationships of the past few years, I realized how transient a thing community has been for me. People appear in my life and I spend time getting to know them, usually because we are in the same place, doing the same things. For a few days or a few years, we share some common goal or entity (church, interests, job) and as such we share some life with each other for mutual benefit; perhaps some love, too, if there is time to build a closer friendship. Then, sooner or later, one of us departs and all we have left is Facebook. We are fortunate, in this age, to have that connection point – not to mention my beloved Gmail and Gmail chat. It still hurts, though – the constant “hi”s and “bye”s. The transient friendships.

There are some constants (or the illusion of them). I’m grateful for the opportunity, this fall, to continue in the midst of a community I’ve grown to love, both at my church in Morristown and amongst Knoxville friends. Even this community changes, though – it shrinks and grows – but the continuity of a few years, at least, contributes to an illusion of permanence. Eventually, I guess, I’ll be saying goodbye to each of them, too. Some will regularly write and call; others won’t. I’ve been through it and I am experiencing it every day: the longer I live, and the more people I love, the greater will be the number of pieces into which my heart is shattered as they leave or I leave, be it via moving, death, or other life changes. Perhaps a better word than shattered, though, is scattered. It presents to me the image of a heart enlarged; a love that stretches further than its immediate surroundings to include those far away, in another city or on another continent. I know that relationships are in constant flux and evolution; they cannot be frozen and preserved in a specific condition forever. I grow and change, and so do my friends, and so do our relationships. Sometimes that frustrates me, and I think, “Is it worth it to invest, even for a short time?”

Yes. Absolutely. I only have to think of my far-away friends to know that. Saying “goodbye” doesn’t negate the value of the friendship. Besides, I never know when I might get to say “hello” again.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: