Blogging is interesting. You write, people follow you, leave links that you follow, and you find more interesting things. Today, I was doing that, and in following one blog to another, I came across a contest on In Search of a Life Less Ordinary. A bad photo contest for travelers and ex-pats. But not just a bad photo contest, one that asks “Why would you recapture that moment?”
Okay, I’m game.
I went through my photo files…well, the ones on this computer. I saw the pictures from the Doomed Vacation of 2011. Oh sure, I can laugh about it all now…but would I want to recapture that moment? No.
There were lots of photos of us wrangling Maura on top of cliffs and children all looking in different directions, beach shots, ruined castles…
And then I saw this one. And I smiled. This off-centered, slightly fuzzy picture of my friend and me (I’m on the right, barely making it into the frame). It was taken at Glendalough – she had wanted to see old stuff, so we took her to monastic ruins. As you do here in Ireland.
I’m not sure what Jen’s doing in the picture, or why I find it hilarious. But there we are, laughing at our own goofiness. It’s what we do. We laugh, together. We’ve been laughing together for the past twenty years, as friends, college roommates, godparents to each others sons. Through sickness and health, marriages and life.
Most of our friendship has been spent living hours away from each other. Lots and lots of phone calls with the occasional visit. There was this mild panic over how we’d be able to keep chatting once I moved here. Luckily, there’s Skype. Which in a way, is almost better than the telephone because we can actually see each other, see our kids growing, make faces at each other. It’s hard to mime over the phone.
But last fall, we managed to align the stars and moons properly, and Jen was able to come visit me. And for a couple hours, we were in the Wicklow Mountains, laughing over who knows what, as is our style.
And it occurs to me – our friendship is full of such photos. Bad, blurry, off-centered ones. Because we’re usually laughing too hard to get a good shot.
There’s something about that friend, the one you can be completely yourself around, who you can make a complete ass out of yourself with, who you don’t have to explain “why” because they already know. The one you can have a great time with anywhere, because it’s not really where you’re at, but who you’re with that makes it fun. Moving to Ireland meant leaving all of those types of friends behind in the U.S. I’ve made some great friends here, but I still miss the ones I left behind.
So looking at this picture, if I could recapture that moment, I would. Just for the laughter and companionship that twenty years of friendship gives you. Even if it meant another bad photo. Because oddly enough, this photo was taken during an attempt at a good photo of the pair of us.
I guess this means she needs to come visit me again, so we can attempt a better picture of us.
Yeah..that’s the reason…