Yesterday I had lunch with two friends with whom I had not connected as a long time... one longer than the other. With one (M.) I'd connected, maybe a year ago, a year and a half. With the other... it's been at least five years. We knew each other initially through our children, who all were in class together at a pre-school years and years ago. After they all went their separate ways (into separate school districts) we lost touch. Recently I'd been contacted by one of them on a famous social networking site, and, well...
There we were, yesterday, having salads.
I arrived late, coming from a 12-Step meeting, ordered my food, and then joined M. and L., both of whom had already begun.
First item of business, as I sat in the booth next to M., was raised by L.:
OK, tell us about your weight. How much have you lost, and how have you done it?
I talked for a while about the 12 Steps and how they are working for me, which led naturally to a conversation about midlife health issues. One woman has had major back problems, for which she worked to avoid surgery through alternative methods, including chiropractic and water therapy. One woman's husband had a heart attack (same diagnosis as Beloved), which led to a conversation about... the changes in my life. Including the fact that I have a girlfriend.
M. already knew the story. L. reacted with warmth and support. (I never imagined she'd do otherwise). And it felt really, really good to enter into a circle of friendship I'd imagined might be past for me, but which is, apparently, still available, in a new configuration.
We talked of families, including the concerns that come with aging parents.
We talked of our beloved partners, and the complications of how we deal with major health challenges.
We talked of children (but not as much as you might imagine we would).
As we talked I noticed a young couple from my congregation across the room. I don't know whether they saw me, but if they did they honored my privacy and my day off by not approaching me.
I've been driving around all week with this song playing in my car.
I think it's about God (I'm sure it is). But as I've sung along, I've been aware at different times that it's applied to different people in my life as well.
In the midst of crisis I was singing it to Beloved.
After lunch with my friends I was singing it in honor of those deep and sweet connections.
On my way to meet my daughter for dinner, I was singing it to her.
An anxiety circled gently overhead, like a seagull contemplating a minnow. Am I singing to the wrong people? Is it wrong to sing it to people at all? (Seeing as one of the lines is you're all I'm living for...) Should it be only for God?
Am I the only person who has these conversations with herself?
Is my need for something, someone else at the heart of all my addictive behaviors?
Is there a way to make God the only one I need, so that I can be free to be in my relationships, rather than bound by them in a way that's well, needy?
For now, this is the song of my heart.