Tuesday, August 25, 2009

365 1/4 days (aka 1 year) later...

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” – Henry David Thoreau

On September 5, 1847 Henry David Thoreau spent his last night at Walden Pond. The following day, he left the simplicity and solitude behind and moved in with his dear friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Whether they were speaking specifically of one another or of friendship in general both quotes illustrate the depth of true friendship.

To say that I lived in solitude or simplicity prior to meeting Lindsay would be a disservice to the many other friends that I have been privileged to have throughout my life. But, on September 5, 2008 I embarked on what would be the epitome of the immortalized words of Thoreau and Emerson.

Another one of my favorite quotes that has become increasingly more meaningful as I have gotten older is the one below:

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some moves our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”
- Anonymous

Lindsay, in addition to 'making the sky more beautiful to gaze upon,' 'moving my soul to dance,' 'awakening me to new understanding' and leaving 'indelible, elephant-sized footprints on my heart,' has also taught me that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.

Mr. Charles Darcy, accounting for his falling in love with Elizabeth, said the following: 'I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or THE LOOK, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.'

In a similar fashion, I was in the middle of an amazing friendship before ‘I knew it had begun.’ Lindsay and I actually met a couple of weeks before September 5th, but it wasn’t until that Friday afternoon that I began to understand what a truly unique individual I had met.

So today, on the anniversary of our first date, I pay tribute to the ‘best of bests’. In an attempt to describe her in my own way and in my own words I will move away from quotes and other literary references and give you my words without 'arranging them in flowery bouquets' and just say them 'as they enter my mind of their own accord.' RAW!

Perhaps the best way to describe her is by sharing a little bit about our first date.

I remember the feelings of anxiety and anticipation before picking her up. I was nervous that we would run out of things to talk about, that she would think I was a ‘dork’, or that she wouldn’t have a good time. Less than five minutes into the date most of my fears had disappeared but, admittedly, I was still intimidated by her.

We showed up at UMFA for the Monet-Picasso exhibit. As we waited patiently in line for our turn to enter the exhibit we read a variety of quotes on the wall. I can’t for the life of me remember any of them but, to this day, she and I exchange random quotes (which is why it seemed so fitting to start this tribute to her with some of the quotes that she has shared with me). Lindsay has an affinity for good literature and is a talented writer herself. For proof you can visit her blog. www.lifeisbeautiful.blogspot.com

We moved from exhibit to exhibit looking at various paintings and listening to the narration that went along with some of the better known paintings. It is amazing how a story changes a painting and adds significance to it. The most touching of the exhibit was that of Monet’s ‘Red Kerchief’…it was meaningful then and perhaps even more so now. As we walked throughout the exhibit she reminded me of the need to ‘keep an open mind’ because that’s what artists do. Lindsay is an artist…it is evident in everything from her writing, to her graphic design…to her photography. www.lindsaykayphotography.blogspot.com (if you happen to visit one of her blogs, I have it on good authority that she likes comments).

Lindsay possesses a childlike curiosity and adventure for life which is both adorable and endearing. That curiosity may at times get her into trouble…at least with over-zealous security guards at an exhibit of priceless paintings. I’ve never seen an overweight, underpaid civil servant move so quickly. Who knew you were supposed to stay at least 6” away from the art?

I quickly realized that one of the things that I have admired most about Lindsay is her ability to love. She has a deep and abiding love for God, Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, for her ENTIRE family, for life, for photography, for traveling, for cheesecake, for all things Italian, and the list goes on.

Knowing beforehand that she had a mild obsession with Italy, I took her to Cinnegrill in an attempt to impress her…it is a quaint little Italian eatery for dinner. We even ordered the cheesecake for dessert. Since I had picked her up so early in the afternoon, we finished eating by six o’clock or so. At that point I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to make her go through a marathon date and I didn’t want to take her home either.

We decided to visit a place that neither one of us had ever been, the International Peace Garden in Rose Park. If you’ve never been, you need to go. It is a park with a variety of countries represented by individual gardens. After taking random pictures at random places throughout the park we came to a rock near the center of the park. We climbed on top of it and sat talking about anything and everything. We spoke of our families, of our dreams, and of the purpose of life. The conversation was effortless. We began talking that night and haven’t stopped since. I was surprised by her ability to articulate her thoughts so well but, more than that, I was impressed at how mature and intelligent she was.

It ended up being a marathon date of sorts. From the time I picked her up until the time I dropped her off…we had spent over 9 hours together and they ‘seemed but a moment’. After visiting IPG we came back to my house, ate chocolate covered pretzels, played the piano, and talked some more. Finally, I took her home. I walked her to the doorstep, thanked her for spending time with me, and then she gave me an amazing hug.

In summation, Lindsay is an example and an inspiration not only to me but to all of those around her. She will brighten your day and light up your night with her unique sense of humor and her contagious smile. If you’ll let her, she will change your life for the better as she did mine. I will forever be grateful for the friend that she has been. She has helped me to grow and progress in ways that I never could have done alone. I am humbled by her innate goodness and amazed at her sincere interest in others. She is a genuine a person as you’re likely to fine. In the beginning I struggled to ‘break-the-ice’ with her but that ice has long since melted and formed rain-like puddles at my feet…I have been splashing in those puddles of friendship ever since.

Finally, I will end with her words and speak them as though they were my own: ‘Lindsay, you are a dear friend that has left a remarkable set of footprints on my heart. Footprints that the waves of time may beat upon again and again and never erase.’

I doubt if I will ever be able to thank you enough for your friendship but I will always strive to be the friend to you that you have been to me for the past year…cross my heart!


  1. Sheesh Trav, don't make me cry at work! I thought I had it under control until I read "cross my heart"...nearly lost it! Way to go! ;)

    Really though, thank you! That was beautifully eloquent, like entering a time machine of words and savoring the past one morsel at a time, smiling out loud all the while. Just when I thought your pillow was surely running out of stuffing, you go and build a mountain of its contents! I am sufficiently buried in "warm fuzzies" ;) Love the parallel of Ralph and Henry (we're on a first name basis of course), I did not know that story! Fancy that, more culture!

    Time is a peculiar thing isn't it? 9 hours seems like a moment and 1 year seems like forever! I love that! What was life like before August 24th 2008? I could hardly tell you, though I know that it has never ceased to be more and more beautiful each day since. Thank you again Travinci, not only for the beautiful post, but for the beautiful reality of it! You couldn't make something like that up! Cheers T-rav (clink)...(swirl)...(sip)..."THE WORLD!" ;)

  2. But I like the flowery arrangements....!