Sometimes looking at the debris of human relationships in my life, I wonder.
I have now lost contact with more people that I will ever meet in the rest of my life. Exclude the phenomena of social media and the odds get so much worse.
Though social media right now, I am in semi-regular contact with 3 people from my pre-high school days, 3 people from high school, 0 people from college and post graduate school, < 10 people for my entire career from 1996 to 2009. My single biggest contact groups remain my activities. Peel away social media, and that number drops significantly to those I see on a regular basis because of another activity.
I assume like everyone - but perhaps more than most - I have created this situation as well as been a victim of it. I have not been as thoughtful as I should be, often replacing it with a range of questionable personal traits. And in a world where the default mode is to be "in touch", the fact that so many have moved on suggests the very real situation that it was for a reason.
Relationships are very funny things. The combination of human beings into any sort of working relationship at all is kind of amazing, given how individualistic and different we are. The fact that any such relationships can move into a relationship where people are willing to subsume their idiosyncrasies for the sake of the relationship is even more amazing.
SO perhaps the fact that the dissolve rather frequently should not be a surprise.
To go through the debris from time to time is to stir up the dust of memory. In the hazy sunlight the friendship motes tinkle and sparkle: here a joke, there the time you needed a hug because the unthinkable happened, way up in the top left hand corner is the road trip where lightning lit up the entire sky at the dead of night.
And then the dust re-settles.
So much of my day now is consumed in working solitude, the associations of work that I have come to understand are often the tools of convenience by which we make a living - when I leave and go on, it will largely be as if the relationships never were. And it is in those moments that I find that the debris of human relationships becomes a poignant reminder of a life that never quite went the way that I had expected.