Only Connect

(I had set a goal for myself to blog somewhere every day this month, but that goal was impossibilified by yesterday’s travel suckiness.  In lieu of yesterday’s post, an overly thoughtful one too too early in the morning.)

So it’s 7am and I’m in Atlanta, having spent the night in the airport after my flight out of Denver was delayed by a couple of hours.  Crying was involved, as was encouragement from several random strangers.  The random strangers are the subject of this post.

I really don’t like talking to people on planes.  It’s not so much that I’m antisocial as it is that I just want to zone out, read my book, sleep, etc.  That said, I talked to my seatmate for the entirety of the 2 1/2 hour flight from Denver to Atlanta, our conversation running the gamut from Aspergers to wilderness therapy to climate change as a concept to metadata.  At the conclusion, we exchanged warm farewells, aware that this was a chance connection, forged only because we were stuck in the airport and then in the plane next to each other for several unplanned hours.

When Erin Fae visited a few weeks ago, we talked about how we both really feel the lack of intimate friendships in our lives at the moment.  We both certainly have those sorts of friends – the ones that hang out in the kitchen while you’re making dinner, or call you at the last minute to go to the grocery store, or are comfortable being quiet together – but not as many as we’d like, and not necessarily in our same geographic regions, making the spontanaeity and comfort of the relationships a little more difficult.  We also talked about how it’s so much harder to make those kinds of friends as adults – and harder to make friends in general.

I guess that’s why I so value conversations like the one I had last night – or like Sunday night, when Max and I went to a bar near his apartment and just talked about whatever for an hour or two.  It’s so rare these days to have a real conversation with anyone, much less a total stranger, much less a conversation spanning multiple hours – so when they happen, it seems like a wonderful gift.

I guess the point of this – and bear with me, as I’ve had like 3 hours’ sleep in a cold and uncomfortable terminal – is that I’m thankful for opportunities to connect, to share a little part of my life with someone new, to step outside my comfort zone and be enriched by the experience.  I’m especially thankful when, as with Erin Fae, as with Linda, those moments turn into a wonderful friendship.

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