Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A hole in the landscape

Seattle skyline, photo by Leonard Chan

My good friend, Brian Carr, is moving to Seattle.

He's been planning to do so for some time, and now it's finally happening.

This isn't unexpected, but it hurts all the same, and I feel like I'm back in elementary school or high school, where you and your best friend were about to be separated--off to different schools, or maybe moving somewhere far apart from each other.

I hadn't expected to feel this pain. I'm an adult, I know people move and I know how to keep in touch with my friends. The Internet's made this all the more convenient, and I've even re-established friendships with people with whom I had lost contact many years ago.

Yet, this is different. It isn't college, when I expected people to scatter like freed doves at the Olympics. This is now, and it just plain hurts.

I walk around town and there's a hole in the landscape. Where he lived is no longer a comforting landmark, a familiar place--it's an absence of presence.

We supported each other's growth as artists. We were there to encourage each other when the going got tough. If I had a show, I knew he'd be there, and I was there for him.

Some of this doesn't change, no matter the distance.

Still, the distance is there. No more walking to the breakfast joint we frequented on the weekend. No more dragging me on roller coasters or into the arcade, too (which I ended up enjoying).

Brian's the kind of friend whom you can call up at any hour and he'll come and help you, especially when your other friends have abandoned you. It's a rare quality, I've found, in a world obsessed with its own busy-ness.

In the end, of course we're still friends and we'll continue to be in contact. But it's not the same as having a friend by your side, is it? And that's the biggest point: that things aren't the same. Everything changes, and change hurts even when it's good. Kids grow up. Friends move. People marry.

The last few weeks have been tough for me. I haven't posted a blog and I haven't painted as I've helped Brian move and hung out with him during his last days in Santa Cruz. To be creative, I go into the part of me that feels deeply, but that part is broken right now and it hurts to explore it.

I'll be back. Until then, I ask for your indulgence.

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