Thinking of a kindred spirit. You know who you are.

The moon draws me in.

I gasp sometimes when I look up and there it is — the moon suspended in time and motion, slivered, full, or somewhere between extremes.

That’s where we are now, each of us in our own way, between extremes, looking up and all around, seeking perspective, inspiration and meaning. Introspection is a solitary journey in many ways, yet, in spirit, we also go together at times.

If you were here with me now, I would say this: Think of the moon as a promise, definite and defining. Imagine and contemplate the many shades of revelations and vows, varying or hidden, to live light and dark.

Even when clouds obscure it, there is a masked brilliance.

This is the moon I see. It is wisdom implied, sometimes even harvested.

Maybe it rises golden, or pale. Is it burnished by atmospherics? Or do we do that with our vision?

Maybe tonight’s moon is a highlight, or a spotlight illuminating autumn blue, or whispering silver to blackness.

Suppose the moon is a piece of one being or one essence that carries us beyond the present, or into another realm. Do we sweep like winds across the face of truth, or fear, or remembrance, maybe even standing now as witnesses to these shards coming together if only for the briefest time possible?

I once wrote this line: “Like a quick cut of a switchblade moon.” I feel something like that now, a segue to another idea warming me deep within: Maybe this is how you make a friendship whole. At first it seems unrelated, this thought, but I trust the process that gets me from here to there.

I take in many reflections from my place down here, under the moon, staring into a night sky crisp, or sultry, or haunting. And I go with them.

The moon makes me aware of obscurity, what is unknown and without reason. These thoughts nurture and nourish me. Is this because I want to know clarity and feel comforted in its absence as well?

Can’t say. But I like pondering these ideas, for now at least, while I am thinking about my soul mate and friend on the West Coast.

We are Moon Children, both born in mid-July, one day apart.

That was back when the moon was a beacon and a dream. Do you think it is the same moon now as it was then?

We are Moon Children, together and apart.

And friends forever, not just because of that specific closeness we share. But it gives us one more reason to smile, thinking back and recalling all that we see that is the same. But still and beyond, we have loved celebrating differences, too.

Even when we surprised ourselves, we found value in symbiosis. I’m thinking now of the time we laughed while racing the train.

Was there a moon in the sky that night? To be honest, I don’t know. I was staring at the train, then the speedometer.

Then I saw your eyes and thought: You can have laughing eyes! Despite what our journalism professors said when stressing precision in writing, you truly can have laughing eyes.

Somehow we knew: We wouldn’t go too far in that race with the train. We would go just far enough and fast enough to make it funny. That’s what we did, taking it just far enough to make us laugh at a prospect that didn’t really exist.

Was that our secret? The whole train incident, I mean. I didn’t tell anyone about it, did you?

I decided it’s okay to mention it now because we did the right thing. Even when you love to laugh, you must respect the right things. And we do.

Last fall, the laughter came again, strained at first, but it was true despite the blue tinge.

Then it grew, warming, comforting. Imagine yellows turning to orange, darkening to red. Deepening still.

I was in despair over a family thing. It didn’t seem right to intrude on your time and thoughts. You rejected that idea. Maybe even scoffed. I think I knew you would.

Like always, you helped me put the bad stuff to rest. You validated my pain and fear. You acknowledged the hurt, you held it for a time, then you helped me cast it aside.

We are so good together, even when divided by this vast continent.

We didn’t always acknowledge down sides. At least that’s the way I see it. We wanted to be about the laughter and maybe only the laughter. It was so genuine and made me feel so free. We backed away from threatening edges.

Not now. Now we walk up to the precipice, study the steep drop into the unknown. We must know what we can about all we confront.

When I was surveying the jagged contours of my landscape, you told me: “You must find a reason to laugh every day.”

And then we laughed.

You were focusing on me, not on your looming reality: Surgery, chemo, radiation.

We laughed about that. You, in that moment, were consoling me. With all you faced, my feelings became your priority.

Then we said these words to each other: Surgery, chemo, radiation.

I repeat them when people ask about you: First, there was surgery. Then chemo. And then radiation.

Then I do a quick cut, like a switchblade moon.

I talk about us laughing. Sometimes I escape (or entertain?) with a story.

We have so many tales to tell, like those about lost security deposits. Or the many other travails of our college years. Or your tried and true approach to battling boredom or decorating challenges by hanging things on the walls, requiring the pounding of lots and lots of nails.

Up they went: Macramé plant holders. Photos. Posters. Even the bird cage that held the Larry Bird photo – a cutout from Sports Illustrated.

I loved the zaniness that was always there. I love having you as my kindred spirit.

For so long, our worlds were about promise and hope and hard work. We plotted strategies, shared inspirations. We cashed our checks, bought clothes and cars, loved our families.

Hey, don’t worry; this isn’t a eulogy.

So let me break the adoration fest by saying: Sometimes you drive me crazy. Even that makes me laugh.

And, of course, laughing reminds me of you.

Here’s how it usually works: I laugh. Because I am laughing, you start. With you laughing, I can’t stop.

I love the way you just keep laughing. Then you plead with me to stop making you laugh. (You don’t really mean it, do you?)

I laugh with you in spirit when we are not together but somehow find the time for one of those great long-distance chats by phone. I laugh sometimes alone, when I remember something funny you did or said.

Sometimes I laugh when I am not alone but remember something funny about you. This perplexes people and that, in turn, becomes funny, even hilarious at times.

Moon Children.

You and me.

Birthdays: July 16th and July 17th.

And still counting.

And laughing.

Still.

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