what is forever?

We are just passing through
“We are just passing through,” Acrylic on Paper, 2010

There are friendships we hold sacred– people who are our crutches or default, much like family.  They’re just there, won’t go anywhere, no need for validation. Even when we fight and squabble (if  we do), the thought of breaking ties or “losing” each other is non-existent.

Next to love or romance, friendships are stable, non-volatile.  I once wrote about this in Love is not it,  inspired by this line: “Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love.”

I used to think it’s because friendships, particularly soul friendships, last forever.

But what is forever?

Why do we find comfort in forever?

When something cannot be taken from us, we relax, we lose the “security” worry.   We like the idea of unlimited anything– unlimited food, money, vacations.   Why not unlimited time, or people, right?

Forever friends.  Best friends.  Travel-mates–people we brave our journeys with, whether we are on the same journey or not.

Having even just one person believe in us, understand us, be “just there”… it’s enough to empower us to conquer the world!

But many of those who truly seek, advise the opposite: to dwell on impermanence, that everything passes.

Forever is a distraction, a step away, and we must allow even the most sacred people in our lives breathing space to leave when it’s time to leave.  And when it’s us who are being called to leave, we pray for the courage to do the same.