Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ruminations in a Kayak VI


(Click to enlarge)

On Making New Friends

There is more than one reason for my enduring preference for the one-seat kayak. Aside from an almost lifetime love of solitude (probably should have considered a cloistered monastery), there is my lack of desire for an abundance of friends. I have always been very careful in choosing my friends, and in extending my friendship to just anyone. The good Nuns at St. Timothy’s used to tell us that one could judge a man by the friends he makes. The corollary to that proposition, of course, is that one could judge a man by the people with whom he never became friendly. When one is so particular about close personal friendships, the loss of close friends is, of course, much more profound than it might be for one who does not place such high value on relationships. When close friends are lost late in life, replacing them is more difficult. It is more difficult, first of all, because the number of men with whom one shares the same life view has probably been dwindling steadily for some years. What, then, is one to do?

I have, as related previously, lost my closest friends in the past three years, and have not even tried to replace them. Frankly, I have no idea how to go about it. My father made one of the closest friends of his life after he took up the game of golf when he was well over fifty. I gave up golf many years ago when the boys started playing sports, so that’s out. It seems ironic that someone paddling all alone miles out in the ocean should ponder such a dilemma. The chance of meeting a new close friend out there (especially one my age) is probably not very good. On the other hand, should I come across another lone kayaker at the sea buoy, chances are we might have something in common (given the geographical circumstance of our meeting). With my luck, though, the guy would probably prove to be an eco freak, and a card carrying member-in-good-standing of PETA, who cherishes the life of the planet, the whales, dogs, cats, and every other animal known to man, in fact every life but the life of an unborn child. In other words, with my luck he would be a Liberal. Thank the Lord for one-seat kayaks.


(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)