Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Debris of Relationships

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.


  1. I've been here for 54 years. Spent most of that watching the human animal at work and at play and I see the things they do - and I don't get them. I don't understand them. It gets worse the older they get, too. In old age they have quirks, bumps and chips on their shoulders that make them even more incomprehensible. They set courses in life that go straight across rocks and shoals and reefs without a second thought.

    I just put one foot in front of the other now. I have no idea where I'm going, or what I'm looking for - but I intend to make the best of my path that I can - and dodge the rocks and shoals and storms as much as I can.

    What else can you do?

  2. Everything is for a reason, nothing is random, this is what I have learnt in my life. So that when someone comes into your life to form a relationship with you, whether it be friend, lover, partner, parent, etc…, that the person is connected with you for the sole purpose of helping you to grow as a person. To make that relationship work will take effort, but will always be worthwhile because it will contribute towards you being the person you are today.

    And relationships have their ‘sell by’ dates, and some people will stay longer in your life than others, or maybe they will walk away from you, but there will always be a need to ‘let go’ at some point in the life of a relationship, but working at a relationship while it is in your life gives you your life learning, which makes you the special and unique person you are today, and this you take with you when you pass over.

  3. Not a great deal else, Glen. People very often act contrary to their own interest for reasons that I do not fully understand. They destroy their lives in pursuit of things which, in the end, ultimately destroy them.

  4. Well and eloquently said Vera. One author I read (Oh, I have no idea right now) compared relationships to traveling on a train: some are with you for a single stop, some for a longer distance, and only a few to the end of the line. They all have a purpose while they are there, but eventually they all get off and move on with their own lives.

    The letting go is the part I have always found most challenging - mostly, I guess, because I view it as representing some kind of failure on my part.


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