Ron Swanson — the gruff libertarian from the ‘Parks ‘n Rec’ sitcom — appeared in a dream last night. In the show he is a secret jazz musician, which is surprising, because his character is otherwise abrupt, hyper-masculine, and unaccommodating of the usual rules of civil discourse. In my dream, we were to dance the tango. I won’t bore you with the details, but the gist was that connecting is so, so important and that it can be done simply. Unannounced even. Without drama. It was also clear that some drama melts away in the presence of community.
There’s a difference between well-enjoyed solitude and isolation. Sometimes one slides a little too readily into the other.
This is on my mind, in part, because a friend of mine fell and broke her hip on Thursday. She lives alone. Her parents are gone, her siblings live in distant states. But, she has a wide and well-tended circle of friends. Yesterday’s big batch of chicken soup was made for her… and once I get over the shock of being old enough to have friends who fall and break their hip, I will move on to appreciating a friendship that has spanned almost thirty years.