A GRADUAL CONGREGATION: FLASHBACK FRIDAY FROM 2/11/19

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – FANDANGO’S FLASHBACK FRIDAY

It turns out, there are a lot of variations of congregate meaning “to get together, join together, group together, party hearty.”

With some fish, it also means collaboration to make baby fish. Or is that conjugation? But there is no singular — at least none I can find — that means “someone who congregates.” No congregator. Congregationalist? Congregationistic? Congruent?

Rich and Garry

 Way back when, in the days when I had energy, enthusiasm, and I liked most people, I was much more enthusiastic about “getting together.” I was considered sociable and I almost agreed with that.

I was never quite as sociable many thought. I was a party “edge person.” I would look for whoever was standing along at the edges of a party and engage them in conversation. I never like big groups of people in one place because you couldn’t have a conversation with anyone when everyone was trying to talk.

I made exceptions when I gave the party because if it was my party, I didn’t expect to engage in conversation. Party giving was more about flitting about and making sure everyone else was having a good time. I gave a few good parties through the decades (generations?), but mostly, I preferred having a friend or two or three — and a great conversation about everything.

Remember conversations that lasted until dawn? We covered philosophy, government, the meaning of life. Travel to the stars, reincarnation and the best books we’d read lately. No one was bored or left out.

Later, people got old. Died. Drifted into a world of their own, moved to senior housing “somewhere near their kids” which was always hundreds of miles from us. Others simply drifted.

What we had previously held in common — work — was no longer relevant after we all stopped working. Those of us who are married and still like our partners are lucky. Singleness is fine when you are active enough to travel and gadabout, but these days, it’s an abiding joy to have a partner whose hand you can hold while you watch old movies, cuddled by a dog with a cold nose.

We’ve been talking lately about how few friends we have remaining. This isn’t unusual at our age. People leave and don’t come back. Many others don’t like traveling. Or driving any distance. More don’t like going unfamiliar places. Everyone likes sleeping in his or her own bed. If you have pets, it gets hard to find someone to care for them, especially when your pets are old too.

We still have friends. Friends forever. They share memories of times through which we’ve lived and knew the same people. We have common political and philosophical beliefs.

So let us congregate to our greater enjoyment! Or try, anyhow.



Categories: celebration, Friendship, Photography, Relationships

Tags: , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Our circle of real-world friends had been shrinking for years for all of the reasons you mentioned. Plus, we moved around a lot and sometimes you just lose touch with people you were close with as time and distance intervenes. But then came the pandemic, and our circle shrank even further, to the point that, outside of our immediate family, it’s almost nonexistent. I miss congregating with friends, but these days, it’s bad for your health

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  2. So, as it takes two to tango, it takes more than one to “join together”, so there no single person who congregates, but there is such a thing as a single member of a congregation… There is also a congressman, but that seems to be one who splits others apart…

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    • I guess the operative word is “cong” or “Kong.” Kong with a K is used only when referring to BIG stuff. In slang Japanese it means “size matters.” This word is also used when playing Mah Jong to tell everyone you’ve collected a set of three or four tiles that match.

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      • I guess with King Kong, size really mattered… And I know a few politicians who think they are members of Kong-gress instead of congress = the opposite of progress… But we were thinking of congregating here, weren’t we? Well, I don’t know if we can physically congregate in a place like cyber space, but truthfully, even before the pandemic, you’re (generic) much more likely to see me socializing here than in a party, not because friends are passing away or anything, but because I’m one of the world’s largest introverts…

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        • I was an introverted kid, got very social for a few years in my 20s, then started rolling back to introvert. Garry was always an introvert — except when he was working. That was his other, public personality. In private, he likes to listen. Not very sociable — except online. He’s chatty in print. Me too. You too. I suspect that MANY of us are the same way. I admit it. I often find the lack of socializing a relief. We didn’t find the lockdowns stressful except for the lack of deliveries in this area. But when you live in the country, you don’t get services like you do in urban and suburban areas. On the other hand we have ponds, rivers, and wild things. I can cope without deliveries in exchange for the beauty.

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