the sinking of friendlessness

. . . and I must respond to that email about appreciating Picasso and incomplete impulses. You're right about giving respect until it is no longer deserved; the problem with being older is that you find few of your friends warrant respect on intellectual grounds. Emotionally, of course, and psychologically, of course. But in the stream of ideas, our friends stop swimming when they find they can drift and eat and sleep in relative safety without expending much energy. That's fine when building a nest or a skyscraper, but doesn't sharpen a mind one whit. So what do you do then, as you find yourself swimming a faster, deeper, more lonely current? Can you be friendless, and not sink? What happens if any compromise means the current slips away from you, into the further recesses of your imagination, and you never see where it leads? My anxiety, in words and pictures and movies, is this absurd trip to a place where no one can go but me, from where many messages may be broadcast, but no affections received. It's the secret of the self, this destination, which many people would like to hear me describe, but to which nobody can travel with me. If I don't go there, I will always have friends and always will live an open book of respect and appreciation. But it's not in my nature to ignore the depth of my feelings or the length of my thoughts, so the plunge happens, alone.

I'll use this writing somewhere, soon. Thanks for prompting it.

-- from a correspondence and dialogue project with Mark W.