Saturday, October 10, 2009

We are Stardust.

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Last night, I had the great pleasure of reuniting with an old and dear friend (Tom), and his partner of 10 years, Arial. I have never met Arial in person before, though I've heard so much of her from Tom and his twin brother David (near and dear), that it felt like I knew her, too. Tom has also never met my husband Peter, as he came into my life about 10 years ago as well. Here's our back-story (the Cliff Notes).

Way back in the 70's, Tom and David were young hippies, selling African beads on the flea market in Gilbertsville, PA (Zerns). I was a restless teenager, and my best friend at the time, Mary Ann, knew them both well so we met. I was an artsy kid, and they were looking for weekend help, so I was hired, for some small sum that was perfectly fine with me because I enjoyed the company. They taught me to do all the things with beads I do today; not to MAKE the beads, but to make things with them. I've used that skill for 37 years now. And the conversation was always interesting, as was the group of people that gathered there. We became good friends, the type that help mold each others' lives. These people are important to me, to how I view my true self, as I look back over time.
Tom and David were working their way through college. Eventually, Tom became a microbiologist (later a biology teacher). David became an optometrist. I (12 years their junior) eventually became an art teacher. Marriages and divorces, changes in dance partners came and went, and we always remained friends. David's long-time wife, Bonnie, taught me to cook; she cooked a special Asian soup (cloud-ear soup, for healing) the day I came home from the hospital with my infant daughter. Tom and David became brilliant spiritual seekers and experts in so many things. Tom sold his cottage in Berkeley and retired; He and Arial bought a house and land in Tennessee. David, Peter and I are still working. Arial, Tom's partner, is a brilliant woman: a writer, editor, horsewoman and animal lover; a spiritual, whole and centered woman. It was a magical evening. You can never be bored in their company; besides, they remind me of when we were all young, hopeful and beautiful. We can still see our younger selves in each others' eyes.
There are hundreds of stories that I could tell about our times together, and our journeys, but those things are meant for later days. Suffice it to say: I grew up with these friends, and they are part of me. And they are beautiful.

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