Category Archives: Friendship

THE LINE

 

THE LINE

It was a lovely spring day. The sun was warm, the birds were singing, and the wispy clouds added a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day.

Sleepy-eyed Abner rose early that morning perplexed as usual (the man had many questions) having just awakened with a REM time voice in his head still demanding, “Go stand in line”.

“Who said that?” inquired Curious Abner.

“Go stand in line.”

Befuddled Abner rose from his state of confused repose, made his bed and his breakfast as the memory of the command “Go stand in line” continued to bounce around in his head.

After his bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey mixed with six heaping teaspoons of steel-cut oats and a half cup of spring water heated for 90 seconds, Abner said to his still sleepy self “What a lovely spring day. The sun is warm, the birds are singing, and the wispy clouds add a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day. I’m gonna go look for that line and stand in it.”

And he did; he went for a walk, that is.

Inquisitive Abner looked everywhere for the line.

“Where is that line?” Abner inquired; there was nobody there to answer his question.

“Excuse me” said Ab to the first person he met. “Do you know where the line starts?

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Abner and the stranger went on her way.

Obedient Abner stood in line.

Eventually Abner began to fidget. Standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day even though the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day.

Impatient and needing to do something, anything at all with his hurried, inquisitive self (Abner was a man with questions ya know) he decided to return to his lovely spring day walk. While strolling down the long sidewalk stretched before him Abner thought to himself, “You know, I probably received the wrong information from that stranger. Perhaps that was not the line, after all. It must be somewhere else. If I hurry to find the right place I may very well be the first person in that line; that would be a good thing, wouldn’t it?” He asked this question even though there was no one there to answer.

Eventually however, someone did come along.

“Excuse me” inquired Abner. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Ab and the stranger went on his way.

And once again, Obedient Abner stood in line.

And as before, Ab eventually began to squirm. He observed once again that standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day; what with the sun so warm, the birds asinging and the clouds though wispy, adding a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day.

And Stubborn Abner stood his ground.

Standing in line Abner wondered to himself, “If this is the line where are the rest of the people?”

Time went on. It was beginning to feel as though he had been standing in line forever.

Eventually however, another stranger approached.

 

“Excuse me” asked Abner. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here,” came the reply.

Abner thought to himself that perhaps he should invite this person to join him. That way there really would be a line.

“Would you like to stand in line?’ asked Sorta Social Abner.

“Thank you for asking” replied the stranger; “But this line is much too long” and continued on his way; “Have a nice day”.

Surprised at the stranger’s remark, Curious Abner turned around. Behind him was a line of people that seemed to wend its way into Eternity. All were waiting patiently, no one was talking to anyone. “After all” observed  Abner (the man with questions) “who wants to talk to the back of someone’s head?”

But as soon as formed the words, Abner realized that he was looking into someone’s face, someone who until seconds ago had been looking at the back of Curious Abner’s head.

“Hi my name is Abner; what’s your name?”

“Betty” she replied and began to introduce him to several other people behind her. There was John, there was her sister Jeanie and her centenarian grandmother had come along; Grandmother’s name was Albina Mary.

Albina Mary had more stories in her old head than Abner had questions. (And as we know, Curious Abner was after all, a man with many questions).

Within minutes this part of the line was starting to look more like a party. And others further back, noticing that the restraints previously defined by the unspoken rules of Linedom had now been broken, began to emulate the conversational opportunities now being made available to them.

As the line evaporated into groups of animated conversationalists, everyone involved gradually migrated to a nearby park.

By the end of this lovely spring day, the sun still warm, the birds no longer singing and the once wispy clouds having surrendered their touch of pastel pleasantness to the gathering cloak of darkness, Weary Abner decided to return home, a practical decision (a part of himself with whom he was not very well acquainted wanted to stay and talk with his new friends) and he did just that; went home, that is.

As Abner crawled between Egyptian cotton 400 thread-count, crisp, clean sheets and sank into the thousand or so individually pocketed coils in his eighteen inch thick mattress he thought about the day now departing and smiled.

The next morning Optimistic Abner crawled out of bed, ate a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey mixed with six heaping teaspoons of steel-cut oats and a half cup of spring water heated for 90 seconds and went out to greet another lovely spring day; the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day.

Curious Abner (the man with many questions who now had some answers) thought to himself “I think I shall go stand in line.”

And he did.

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THANK YOU FOR THE APPLAUSE

THANK YOU FOR THE APPLAUSE

I know of no example in humanity against which one can be compared in order to determine how much one has grown, or to set goals outlining a plan to determine how much one can or should grow.

The habit of saying to one  another “Hey, you are really getting better” sounds encouraging but in fact, is very judgmental. The affirmation to seek progress rather than perfection is self-deluding. That kind of thinking prevents us from accepting one another for who we are.

When in the presence of one who has just been applauded for a contribution of one sort or another benefitting those of us slapping the palms of our hands together, shall we offer  expressions  of “Hurrah”, “Ole!”, “Bravo” or “Good job!”?

Perhaps a simple “Thank you” would be a sign that we are all “getting better”.

image001

THANK YOU FOR THE APPLAUSE

THANK YOU FOR THE APPLAUSE

I know of no example in humanity against which one can be compared in order to determine how much one has grown, or to set goals outlining a plan to determine how much one can or should grow.

The habit of saying to one  another “Hey, you are really getting better” sounds encouraging but in fact, is very judgmental. The affirmation to seek progress rather than perfection is self-deluding. That kind of thinking prevents us from accepting one another for who we are.

When in the presence of one who has just been applauded for a contribution of one sort or another benefitting those of us slapping the palms of our hands together, shall we offer  expressions  of “Hurrah”, “Ole!”, “Bravo” or “Good job!”?

Perhaps a simple “Thank you” would be a sign that we are all “getting better”.

image001