Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Tale of Two Barbaras

I met Barbara B over a year ago in my Wednesday evening meditation group. I knew right away she was probably about my age because most every living Barbara was born around 1949 when there was a Miss America named Barbara. Go figure! Anyway, we have been meditating together from time to time, but it is silent meditation, which means that you don’t learn much about your fellow meditators. I had also gone to her for massage a couple of times and found her to be almost as good as my massage therapist, and that is a hard bar to measure up to!

Barbara and her husband Matthew are leaving for a retirement sabbatical in Seattle toward the end of the year. So I invited Barbara to go to lunch today, with the idea that we could share something of our lives with one another.

Barbara grew up in New Jersey and went to Vassar College. She was in the same class as my wonderful best friend from home, FL, and the same class as Meryl Streep. She found Vassar to be more than just a challenge and was intimidated by all the really smart girls in her class. Seems like FL said something like this also. So Barbara was only too willing to drop out after 2 years (at age 20) and marry young Matthew, who was graduating from Williams College. She had met Matthew at a mixer and had fallen hopelessly in love. So she hooked her fortune to his and it was a good match, because after 36 years they are still together. They have two children who are a little older than ours who are off living elsewhere.

As we talked over lunch, I realized just how much we have in common. We are both avid journal-keepers – Barbara writes on real paper, I am electronic. We are both fascinated with the connection of meditation to the other aspects of humankind. We both adore our husbands.

She talked about a meditation retreat she attended last weekend, where there was a partner exercise which consisted of a listener and a speaker responding repeatedly to the question, “What makes you come alive?” Boy, would I have liked to answer that question.

It’s unfortunate that I waited this long to further this friendship, but I now know that I have another life-friend who will someday be back from Seattle. What a good feeling!

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