November 15, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

A long, long time ago, in a state clear across the country, there used to be sleep-away camps for kids with cystic fibrosis.  (This was before the doctors figured out we were literally killing each other with cross-infection.)  Anyhow, the one I went to was called Camp Pilfeather and my memories of it remain clear and sharp even after all this time.  One of my favorite moments was at night, when the entire camp would gather around the bonfire and sing songs to guitar.  Lots of 60's music of course: Yellow Submarine, This Land is Your Land, etc.

A memento of that time which I kept for YEARS after was my camp shirt, which had rainbow-colored printing (yeah, hippies, I know) that spelled Camp Pilfeather on the front and on the back the motto: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.

I didn't fully appreciate the motto at that time.  In fact, haven't for most of my life, as I am generally an independent spirit and thrive on being able to accomplish things on my own that others would have to work together to do.  (Others might couch this in terms like "loner"; I prefer to say that I am a "future hermit".)

But times change, my health has changed, and my perception of and relationship to the very concept of relationship has changed.  This is not to say I'm becoming wholly dependent on anybody, but I am definitely enjoying the fruits of hard-won experience that my friends have and by whose example I profit.  My own path is illuminated all the better for the lights they've strung up for themselves.  And I am immensely grateful!

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