Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friends as Home...

I've written a lot over the past few years about home. From the little town I grew up in, to my ever flowering love for this famous-for-being-a-little-crazy City of Waco, all the way to a certain building over on Dutton Avenue. Something about the idea of home swirls around my head and seems to be the carrot I'm always reaching out for, trying to grasp just a sliver.

There is another home for me and it is not a place, but rather a sense of belonging with an amorphous, roaming band of people who feel as much like family to me sometimes as do those who share my DNA. There's around ten to a dozen of us, depending on who is not talking to whom at a particular time of our lives, and, as far as my involvement is concerned, our roots can be traced back to the year when I, for no apparent reason, decided to leave a possible career in politics to return to ETBU to work for a few pennies an hour. On the surface it seemed like a decision that served no good purpose other than to return me to my comfort zone. But if you are a person who believes God at least nudges us at times in certain directions, as I have slowly (and somewhat reluctantly) come to believe, then you could actually say it was one of the most significant and God-present decisions I've ever made.

We are all over the world, from Bangkok to Seattle, Newton to Waco, Dallas to the Netherlands. One of our lot tends to be nowhere and everywhere all at the same time. We are Reformed, Arminian, Republican, Democrat, Megachurch, Progressive-Church, Country Church, Emergent, agnostic, drinkers, abstainers, cussers and non. When we gather we ask who has heard from the others. The irony is that our distance seems to be the glue that holds us together. Our memories of each other are fond and great affection, almost EMBARRASING affection, is expressed by each member toward the other.

Today a few of us were together. There was Jason, Robert, Mark, along with spouses, friends, family and others. These are not people I share everyday life with, but they are people I share strong memories with. Our past is the trajectory that keeps us moving.

This morning I met Jason for breakfast. Later I had conversation with Mark and those hilarious glances Robert and I give each other to signal when we are both thinking the same (usually inappropriate) thing. These were actions and they were feelings but, above all else, the air surrounding us and the dirt underneath us and the time pushing us forward to yet another temporary exit where we await the next entrance was, for me, Home.


tracey fields said...

you are a really good friend. i don't mean, "Craig you are a really good friend to me" -which, i would consider you to be...just that, "YOU are a good FRIEND..."

Jason Edwards said...


And here's to a higher frequency of exits and entrances... (raising my glass)

Aaron said...

I don't know if you had me in mind here, seeing how our contact with each other has been much more limited since you abandoned ETBU for the high life. ;)

But in any case, I miss all of you guys. I wish I could have been there for Jason and Christy's homecoming.

Even though we make it back to Atlanta about twice a year, I find that when we do come back, even if others from the ETBU crowd are in the area, we rarely see them. Blake and Karla were in Atlanta last Christmas, but between their time with family and our time shuffling around from parent's house to parent's house (both sets of parents are divorced, and all four "sides" of the family live in the same town), I think we actually saw Blake and Karla for all of about 10 minutes.

We just need to make a trip out to the Dallas area. No family, just friends. How would that sound? (By the way, I have no idea when such a thing would be possible).

Aaron said...

Or better yet, some of you guys make a trip up to the Louisville area. It's beautiful here in the fall.

Craig said...

Aaron, of course I included you. I did say we are Reformed, didn't I?