I have been anticipating the moment I would see Naomi, my best friend, for months, and it finally happened Wednesday night. However, we both noted that while seeing each other was strange and our voices sound different in real life, it was more of a neutral moment than we expected. There was no swelling of lush background music, no fireworks, no parade rolling down the brick street in front of my house (which I'm sure would have resulted in some angry neighbors waking up)--it was just one more moment in our lives. Yes, it is wonderful to see her again, but the feeling we have together is one of comfort and close companionship, not some sort of euphoria.
Life just keeps flowing, and it seems that our two lives have once more ran together with the smooth calmness of a river. Sure rivers can have rapids--something terrible suddenly happens in your life--and sometimes even waterfalls--like when I moved to Germany and I was suddenly somewhere new--but for the most part, it is relatively calm. Germany felt like an exciting mountain stream and Kansas is that little mountain lake where I finally spill into and just float on my back and stare at the clouds shifting and passing by.
I read some of Shunryu Suzuki's book, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind a couple of years ago, and there was a passage that stood out to me. He wrote that when you are zen, life does not hold great excitement or great sorrow, you approach everything calmly and the events just pass by. I didn't like the idea of that at the time, because I couldn't imagine living like that. I had always thought life was inherently a series of trials and triumphs, highs and lows, and I was scared of not have moments of bliss. However, now I understand. Your life does not become boring because of this, and moments don't become any less wonderful, rather it takes away some of the roller coaster ride, and allows you to appreciate even the moments that might seem a bit boring. Biting into a perfectly ripe strawberry, playing a phrase with loose vibrato on my cello, feeling pretty on a random day all become sweeter and something to celebrate. And seeing my best friend again after months has a quiet, calm excitement that allows me to appreciate just sitting on the couch in the flesh--in the same time-zone even--so much more than I used to be able to.