If you read my blog frequently, you’ve probably seen me mention my best friend, Ibis, a few times. Well, her birthday is in two days, and I’m in a foreign country, maybe 4,000 miles away from her. I mean, I haven’t always been able to spend her birthday with her of course, but I usually try to do something. Take for example two years ago, after our junior year of college. She was studying abroad that semester, but the school year ended and we were back in our hometown about a week later. I called up her mom and asked if I could come over as a surprise, so I rode my bike about seven miles to her house with two bottles of liquor in my backpack (it was her 21st birthday) and just strolled in her backdoor. She was cooking in the kitchen and thought I was her mom at first, but when she saw me (for the first time in about four months) she freaked out and hugged me. We both had been through a lot that semester, but at least we got the chance to spend some time together in the end.
I don’t think I’ll be able to do quite the same thing this year, since I’ll be coming home about a month and a half late. In fact, she’ll probably want to do something for my birthday, which is in July.
Anyway, what I’m trying to get to is that Ibis is a truly irreplaceable friend. We’ve had our ups and downs of course–this year probably being a down, since we haven’t seen each other in nine months–but in the end, we’ve been friends for a solid eight years. I mean, all through the tumultuous times of high school and college. That means something.
So today’s journal prompt has something to do with this idea of friendship, the kind of friendship that you can’t just find anywhere. Today’s prompt is as follows: Do you have any friends with whom you have a sort of spiritual connection? How can you describe this connection? Does your friend inspire you on your path?
I can say very honestly that Ibis is a friend with whom I have some kind of spiritual connection. I remember back when we were in high school, we were sitting by the side of her backyard pool and we were talking about everything–life, school, even God–and I realized that somehow, we had so much in common that I truly felt we were like the same person. I felt like our spirits were kindred, as though we were soul sisters (as cliched as those terms have come to be).
My connection with Ibis is so powerful that when she turned eighteen, I wrote a poem lamenting that she was going to become an adult without me. The poem was about our innocence and how it seemed that I had lost too much innocence to be a child but I couldn’t yet follow her into adulthood. The shining hope in the piece was that we had decided to go to college together, and I didn’t have to be so afraid of the future if I was stepping into it just behind her.
I would say that, although I was the one who worded the prompt question and of course I should be able to answer it, it’s very difficult to describe the connection that I have with Ibis. I think that the best way to say it is that our souls strive for the same thing, even if we don’t realize it in the moment. For example, when we were sitting by the side of the swimming pool back in high school and we were discussing God, we seemed to feel the same things in our hearts. If I recall correctly, we both had experienced a period of intense devotion to Him, but in the end had found that it didn’t satisfy us, or it didn’t make sense in the way that we had hoped it would. I think that we both want something a little more out of spirituality than what the Christian God can provide, or at least more than we understood He can provide. As I’ve said before, I don’t think that Ibis is about to join me on this path anytime soon (even though it would be ridiculously awesome if she did), but we’ve had many moments over the years of connection in spiritual thought. For example, once we were walking together on campus and saw a spring bird flitting from tree to tree. And it seemed that in that moment we both expressed that the bird must have a soul, that it has a whole life and existence beyond what we understand (I would say that whether or not we take on this label, we both have some belief in animism).
Sometimes I don’t even realize that we have the same goal and beliefs in mind until later. For example, my freshman year of college, Ibis and her boyfriend were part of a big campaign to ban bottled water on our college campus. At the time, I was vehemently against this ban, on the sole grounds that it was a “ban.” I thought that if I wanted to buy bottled water, I should be able to. I actually became somewhat furious over the whole thing, because I felt like they were telling me I was a bad person for wanting to buy bottled water. In reality, I’m pretty sure I felt guilty myself. After a couple arguments with Ibis about the whole campaign, we completely reconciled, and about a year later I realized I had been extremely selfish about the whole thing. Now I think about my impact on the environment constantly, and Ibis and I both truly care about the Earth. It was like she, once again, was one step ahead of me and I just had to grow up a little to figure out that we were still the same person.
Clearly Ibis and I have a lot of things in common, which definitely is important for us being friends. But more than that, it seems that we have some sort of kindred connection, even from afar. For example, one day I was walking in a park not far from my house, and I saw an ibis. Instantly I felt my friend flash into my mind. It was as though her soul was present in the bird–perhaps all birds, since she’s said a few times that if she could be an animal, she would be a bird. But more importantly, I could feel that there was something there, and I made plans with her as soon as I could because I felt that seeing the bird was almost a sign. This is why I call my friend Ibis on this blog.
Now, like I said, Ibis isn’t on this path. But she certainly has served as inspiration and support for me while I’ve been figuring out what I believe and what I know. She was the first person I told about magick, and she didn’t even think I was that crazy. She’s participated in a ritual with me, and she even sometimes reads this blog 🙂 I think the fact that we strive for the same things in life help her to understand where I’m coming from a little bit more than your average person, because (as I said with the animism and stuff), we have a lot of the same feelings and beliefs, even if hers haven’t been translated to a belief system the way I’ve been trying to translate mine.
So, thinking about her birthday coming up, I’m hoping to get her something really special. I can’t say what it is yet, because I don’t want to give it away in case she reads this! But she always knows that it’s something from the heart.
Of course, the biggest gift will be when I come home and we pick up exactly where we left off. I don’t think she’ll ever be able to get rid of me, to be honest. No matter how many months or years or decades we spend apart (but hopefully not decades, because that would suck).
If you read this, Ibis, I love you to pieces. I wish I could be there for your birthday, but I know that when I come back, you’ll be 23, and I’ll step into it behind you.
Blessed be ❤