Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saying Goodbye To Friends

No, I'm not leaving Oregon yet.  Not until next week.  But I did have to say goodbye to some very dear friends tonight.

Twitch, Katee, Courtney and Joshua, you will be missed.

In case you don't already know, these were the final four dancers for the show So You Think You Can Dance.  The finale was earlier tonight and Joshua took home the title, which was well deserved.

The first episode of this show came on around the time I came home to Oregon City from Idaho.  I knew that this was my last summer at home, even though I didn't know what I would be doing when it ended.  I had no idea what to expect from the few months after college.  I thought I would hate these last three months.  I didn't want to be living in the same house and working at the same job I was before I ever went to college.  There were many times when I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything.  But this summer was different, better than that.

So the summer started off with this show, So You Think You Can Dance.  I wasn't sold on it from the beginning.  No matter what though, I would sit down with my mom every Wednesday night for another episode.  And eventually I was hooked.  Some of the dancing was amazing, but I loved the show for the personalities of the dancers.  One of the dancers, Twitch, was fun to watch perform, but off the stage he was always smiling and encouraging people.  He was the first person to support someone who moved on to the next level or got eliminated.  Everytime. He was there with a hug and a smile.

And in a way, like I so often do, I connected with the people on the show.  They became my friends.  I do this with books all the time.  For the last month of school this year I was slowly making my way through Sometimes A Great Notion, a novel by Ken Kesey.  I finally finished it almost two months after I started.  Now, when I think back to graduation, the moments leading up to it and the weeks after, I think of Hank, Leland, and Joe Ben cutting logs on a hill near the Oregon Coast.  I feel like I was there!  When I had read the last sentence of the book, it took me nearly ten minutes to close the book and put it down.  I didn't want to leave behind the friends that had carried me through Graduation.

And here I find myself, saying goodbye to another group of friends.  I meet them, I grow close to them, and we leave each other.  The friendships I make in books, on TV, in movies, they hardly mean anything to me.  It's when I have to say goodbye to the real friends that I struggle.  And the worst part is, I'm used to it.  Summer after summer, I left Nampa.  I said goodbye and went home.  Never before has it been difficult leaving Oregon to go back to Idaho though.

This summer was better than I could have ever expected it to be.  This was the beginning of life after college!  And I'm leaving it for another beginning.  You don't have to tell me, I already understand that every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.  I just hate all of this goodbye stuff.

And so, in the spirit of life, friendship, and beginnings
I will never read the last sentence,
I will never watch a finale,
I will fall asleep in the last ten minutes,
I will do what I can to make sure that you and I don't have to begin again
Because I never want these friendships to end.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Viewing Points

Facebook Status for current blog:  Chris Spicer thinks that there are viewpoints along the highway of life; opportune roadside pull-offs that allow us to see the whole picture once again before heading off down the road.

One of my favorite viewpoints is at the edge of the Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon.  Before you descend the mountains to Pendleton, you have one last chance to pull off and appreciate the majestic landscape.  When I'm up there I feel like I'm bigger than the Blue Mountains and all of Oregon, even the Northwest and the entire Pacific Ocean.

In two weeks, I'll give all of that back.  Is it sad?  Or is it symbolic, to drive the other direction, not knowing when I'll see this view again?

I am sure that where one viewpoint ends, another begins.  I won't stop here on my drive to Idaho.  Right now, I don't think I need to see where I've been.  I'll keep the car and drive, searching for viewpoints that reveal where I'm going.