You know that one person in your life
Who you more-than-adore?
Whose wisdom has formed your wisdom,
Whose humor became your humor,
Who taught you about music or fishing or books
Or motorcycles or brothersisterlove or friendship itself?
Over years and years and years and years,
So that the relationship is as sacred as anything in this world to you?
Since Trump—or since Hillary—or since Obama—or since Bush—
You’ve argued until you’re done arguing.
You’ve stewed silently. You’ve itched. And then you’ve picked the scab.
And then you’ve agreed to disagree.
But you don’t want to agree to disagree on something
As important as the soul of the country!
You will, if you have to—because nothing can be allowed
To destroy this holy bond.
But the bond is strained, just a little—
—natural forces that should be pushing it together—tug sideways, a little.
And a little, in a bond like this, is a lot.
And so there’s avoidance. Quiet stretches. Changes of subjects. Lots of jokes.
And you think once again: What if we just got all the way into it?
What if we began at the beginning and talked it through?
And sorted it out. And got it squared away for the most part.
But what is the beginning?
Is it the last time we argued about politics?
The first time we argued about politics?
The day we met? (Or the day before?)
The beginning of our lives?
The beginning of our parents’ lives?
The Civil War?
The day that Christ was born?
How did we come to tell ourselves such different stories
About our country? About our race? About our selves? And one another?
“Someday, over many beers,” one of us says, weakly.
Someday, over many years, the other hopes, vaguely.
But what if there was a place to begin? Some common words to discuss.
About communication. And humanity. And America.
Words by a third friend, who respects the relationship.
And you two could share those words, like a meal.
What is that thing—a substantive peace offer-ing?
This is that thing. A meditation—a hundred meditations—
To be taken in drop by drop, upon the heart.