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"You've Got A Friend"

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Hello, my friends.

 

I've begun these articles with the same salutation every month for several years, and have never really given it that much thought until now.It was just my own particular trademark greeting.But are you really my friends?Am I really yours?

Sometimes at night, when I'm driving down the road in the dark, I like to look at the solitary lights burning inside the houses along the way, and wonder to myself, "Who are those people behind those windows?What's their story?Are they happy?Are they sad?Is it a family, or just one lonely soul sitting there in the silence?"

 

I get a strange feeling in my heart when I think those thoughts.A kind of ache.A feeling of empathy.A feeling of solidarity with my comrades in our shared struggle just to survive and be happy.And it closely resembles the feeling I have when I'm trying to write.

 

I've always wanted to believe that we're all alike on the inside, when we close our eyes and realize that we're not our bodies or our personalities or our politics or our religions or our checkbooks - just pure consciousness, trying to learn and grow.Pure love, manifesting in a zillion different ways on this physical plane.

I spent several hours trying to write something on New Year's Eve, then again on New Year's Day, and again last night.I sat and stared at the computer, and I paced up and down the hall, and I wandered around the rehab area.I stood in a dark corner and gazed out the window, and took a little stroll down Main Street.I played inspiring songs by some of my favorite songwriters, and tried to quote them.Then I sat in silence.Then I played some more songs.

 

But I wasn't satisfied with the way it was going.If I can't get that feeling that lets me know I'm writing from that common place we all share, that feeling of inner oneness with the people I'm trying to reach, it just doesn't work.And when I read it back to myself, I never like it.

 

So, here I am again on January 2nd, starting over. I'd been thinking last night about that salutation, and even looked up the word "friend" in the dictionary.It said, "one attached to another by affection or esteem." While driving home later after giving up, I found myself looking at the lights in the windows and wondering again, and I thought to myself, "This is the feeling I'm looking for.Maybe I should go back and write about this."

 

I didn't turn around.My brain and my heart were both too tired, and sore.But I woke up this morning, and I thought again about those little lamps shining out of their kitchens or living rooms into the darkness, and I thought about what I read in the dictionary, and do you know what I felt?I felt affection.I felt esteem.I felt like a friend.

 

Wishing you health, happiness and peace,

 

Dr. Frank Bowling

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