in 2002 i moved to the southwest. shortly before that fred had moved to the same small town. luckily, we met each other soon after we both arrived. it took a few years of interacting regularly before the two of us became friends, rather than just acquaintances. even so our having met so early in our arrival to this wonderful place meant that last year, when introducing me to another friend of his, fred described me as his "oldest friend here", meaning "known the longest", not "with the most years on her". i was so proud.
about a month ago i was retelling fred's fiance about that sense of pride i have in counting as one of fred's oldest friends here. she smiled and responded that one of the things she loves about fred is how he invests in what will last. that captured my sense of pride perfectly, and also my own good love for him. fred is someone that understands the value of longevity. he invests in what will last, whether it's good music, quality wine, stereo equipment, his truck, the town he lives in, or friendship. i feel a sense of pride in being his friend because our friendship reflects fred seeing me as a person with longevity too. i've earned my way, so to speak, into mutual appreciation with him.
one of the brilliant truths of a person with the long range view is the sense of relaxation that comes from knowing them. that is, there is no hurry. we don't have to do it all right now. because we're living for the long road, there's plenty of time, and we can slow down to enjoy it. fred has helped me come to appreciate life in the moment more readily than i did before. to really taste a good glass of wine you've gotta slow down enough to taste the way air over your tongue changes the taste of the wine, or stay open long enough to see how the first bite of the wine in your mouth is radically different from how it'll taste even a few minutes later, and then really different from how it'll taste an hour later. to really hear how good an album is you've gotta slow down for not just the 3 and a half minutes of a song, but the 3 and a half minutes over and over of every song on the entire record. and you've gotta be engrossed enough to catch when it's time to turn the record over. being so in tune means too hearing the differences that come from really good speakers, and the differences that come from listening via record rather than via digital sound. caring about these subtleties comes with loving your own sense of experience, and understanding how it's the subtle differences that have huge effect. i've learned from fred the value in visiting with a friend by just sitting down and hanging out for an hour, nothing else to do but just be there. maybe we'll share a glass of wine too. there will likely be a record playing too. but the point is the moment is lovely. let's live in it.
later this year fred is getting married. i'm lucky enough to be friends too with his fiance. she really has been this gift in my life and i am so grateful. last night i saw fred briefly and i was looking at him and thinking on how he's going to be getting married. i was overwhelmed in that moment with a sense of joy and tears simultaneously. i treasure fred's ability to revel in moments. knowing he's found someone that loves and revels, loves and revels life with him, that he can share so many moments with -- it makes me so happy. i couldn't imagine wanting more for him. there he is investing in what will last.