Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Best Friends.

Today, I got to see one of my two best friends.  The best friends department is one of the many in which I am overly blessed - being fortunate enough to count two wonderful ladies as my best of friends, my bosom buddies, my go-to-girls.  About two and a half weeks ago, I got to see one of them, who drove up from NYC to visit her New England friends.  Today, I got the chance to see the other, who drove down from Northern Maine to visit her family (and me! yay!).

I wish I could do justice via a blog post to these amazing ladies but it can be really hard to get "awesome," down in black and white.  Well, grey and white I suppose. . . that is the color of my font, isn't it?  Shoot.

Anyway, these two fantabulous best friends are very similar in a few important ways, and yet totally different in others.  They both have distinctive laughs that you can hear a mile away, that come easily and linger warmly.  Smiles that take up two-thirds of their faces, and a penchant for story telling.  They are both dancers, though of different strips - one is a belly dancer, specializing in tribal fusion who trained in ancient dances while abroad in India as a Dance Minor.  The other took some ballet classes as a girl.  Most of the rest of her "training," is informal and fun: salsa clubs in New York, college clubs and gay bars in various cities with various friends.  All of which is enhanced by a natural sense of rhythm.  As either of these two women dance, their wild manes of tight, curly, dark hair dance and wave around them like a separate entity almost, breathing a new life into their movement.

Both trained martial arts - the same system as me - and earned black belts.  They are each frank, honest, direct, firing from the hip and the heart.  They are vivid, brilliant people, women made of color and sound and commotion and passion.  Sometimes, they each whisper quiet, wiggling worries about finding THE path - the CORRECT path - out of all the paths they may yet choose. 

And how many paths their are, for women who both choose observing the human being and expressing the human being as their focuses in college.  Anthropology and Dance.  Neuroscience and Visual Art. Study, observe, then create.

And yet in other ways, they are so very different.  One stands tall and slender, a former diver and current runner.  Her skin is milky white - creamy even when tanned - and her features as distinctly, proudly Portuguese as her last name.  The other is a few inches above five feet, with golden-tan skin covering every inch of her long slender arms and full, womanly hips as well as every inch in between.  Here and there the skin is permanently kissed by a tattooer's ink, and piercings wink.

Mystical and exotic fascinate one.  She is spirit and heart.  Puzzles and challenges intrigue the other.  She is head and heart.  One was raised modestly, on a tight income, in a rural town.  Homeschooling, quiet local Christian schools, a town without traffic lights, vacations being a trip to grandparents homes.  The other was raised comfortably, in high end homes with international travel and a heavily private, all girls education. 

The one who went to private schools makes (or remakes, really) much of her own clothing. Which she wears dancing, running, sketching, pursuing a possible career in medicine.  Or special effects make up.  You know, whichever.

The other, who I got to see after months apart today, dreams of belly dancing professionally, of exploring acting more fully, of going back to school so she can take her flare for languages internationally and teach English As A Second Language in other countries, her luggage in one hand and her sweetheart's hand in the other.

These are my two best friends.  Sugar, spice, and everything nice.

{She looks like one of her own paintings, no?}

{Can't you just hear the drums?}

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