Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just a Pair of Shoes

Several months ago, I lost my friend. My best friend, really. But lost isn't exactly the right term - it wasn't a matter of location; we are both, in fact, in the very same places. I wish that it was simply a geographic obstacle - that makes it not ours to overcome, but we then become simply victim to circumstances, to things that aren't quite in our control.

We are many things, but I don't know that either of us qualify as victims. In our own ways, and to varying degrees, we each contributed. Everything became broken and twisted - unrecognizable when compared to what we used to be. And so our last act of us, of being so connected and intertwined that words aren't needed, was to walk away.

That was months ago, and I haven't really given things much thought. Which isn't to say that walking away was as easy as changing my socks, it was anything but easy. But it wasn't something that I dwelled on, or really even thought about at all.

Until yesterday.

The person who was crossing the street in front of me had on a pair of shoes. Which is quite common, and really, expected. When you're out on the street, you wear shoes. And in the middle of the street, I realized. Those shoes were the same shoes I had seen every day for years - the shoes that my best friend wore every day.

And I was stunned. In all of my life, I had only seen those shoes on one set of feet. Which, in all honesty, was probably because they are kind of ugly shoes. But ugly or not, they graced the feet of my best friend, and were as familiar to me as breathing - even if the realization of who they belonged to in my mind brought a flood of memories that stopped me dead in my tracks, if only for an instant.

And so in the honor of friendships and memories, this is my best shot from last week.


shoes

Sometimes it's just a pair of shoes.
And sometimes it's years worth of memories, packaged up to look like shoes.



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29 comments:

susiej said...

I love the way you put that: Just a pair of shoes, but really, so much more.

MamaGeek said...

Isn't it crazy how life can get so twisted (like you said) and complicated and yet its' the little things that bring back the memories? Oy.

Love that shot. So simple yet so powerful.

Mia's Mama said...

I know. Things can be so fabulous between best of friends, but them something changes..forever and if you try or not, it just won't ever be the same.

a sweet testimony to friendship.

tracey clark said...

oh how i love this!

Kara!!! said...

Beautiful words for a beautiful picture :)

Joanna said...

I am sorry about your loss of friendship. I too had one of those and it still breaks my heart years later.

I love how you said "they were as familiar to you as breathing". I so get that....

Beautiful post and picture to go with it.

Maya said...

I had a close friend that we choose to walk away too. This brought back so many of those feelings. Thanks for sharing.

Megan said...

lovely post. losing a friendship is always painful, but your accompanying photo brought a smile to my face. :)

Brittany said...

I have been there... It's a sad and terrible thing. You really wrote out how the emotions role, though. Great post and GREAT photo!

carrie said...

so perfectly written and the photo, too. wow. i felt like i was on the street experiencing that with you.

Marie said...

What a wonderful sentiment. Loved this best shot entry.

Arizaphale said...

Ouch.

Christina said...

Oh Maggie! Wow, this is powerful. and so beautifully written. The path life takes is full of trists and turns...perhaps your paths will join again one day.

infinitysedge said...

This is a story that so many can relate to...so beautifully written. Great shot too!

Andrea said...

Beautifully written.

Jen said...

Oh, what a beautifully written post. It evokes so many different emotions and the photo is perfect. Great post!!

Golightly said...

It seems most of us can relate to your post. I know I can. And I miss those people, the friends who got away. There are a few, I'm sure that I haven't thought about for a time until something, like shoes, reminds me.

Very nice words and picture.

Sarah-Ji said...

Beautiful post, and great shot of the shoes. Thanks for sharing!

Killlashandra said...

Great shoe shot. And it is too true about circumstances and friendships. That just happen sometimes.

Blueberry said...

great post! and the shoe shot is wonderful!!

natalie said...

Maggie...I'm smiling a sad smile. How in the world could we NOT relate to what you said? In my situation, something that started out so straight, so easy, so comfortable ended up looking like a knarled tree that neither one of us recognized. As much as we both would probably like the simple sapling back, it will probably never happen. In our case, too many little mistakes, too many upsets, a few too many bumps in the road. Our only option was to walk away, each looking back toward the other with tears in our eyes.

By itself your image is awesome, as usual. With the story, your image is moving--in the soul moving.

Jaimee said...

Beautiful post...Friendships are so difficult sometimes...No matter which direction they go, they always take apart of our hearts with them! Love the picture...perfect picture for your post.

HeatherK said...

What a tough thing to process. Something so ordinary, but really just not. It does seem often that it's the ordinary things that stick with us.

Phyllis Sommer said...

beautiful tribute to friendship and a beautiful photo.

Dawn said...

In reading your post (twice) and each of the comments above mine, I am struck by how common it is for relationships to be broken and for our hearts to carry little scars. Or in some cases, big gashes. It's funny in a sad kind of way: I thought I was the only one who knew this kind of pain. How self-centered of me!

I'm confident that it was no accident you saw that memory-evoking pair of shoes.

Reconciliation is a beautiful thing, but it is a hard process to get there - and both sides have to want to work for it. I'm learning that myself. I just read a great book called The Gift of Forgiveness by Charles Stanley that gave me a lot of insight into my relationships and how forgiveness is better for the "victim" than the one who asks (or doesn't ask) for it.

Still, all the learning in the world about forgiveness and reconciliation doesn't make it any easier. God is helping me through it.

Thanks for sharing a deeper piece of yourself this week, Maggie.

Mandaroo said...

This made me think about a recent lost friendship. And, every so often something comes up that reminds me of her....like this post. Not sure if time will mend, we'll see.

Dawn said...

Wonderful post! I think we all can relate...I know I can. Thank you for the trip down memory lane~

Stacy said...

Such a sad story. Great shot to go with it though. Friendships can be so complicated, most definitely.

Stacy said...
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