Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Your Stratosphere 9/2014

Who is in your Stratosphere?

The family tree, the original social network that we all have, seems to align itself as so: you have your family, those you are born into life with or they are born into life with you. You can't divorce them, you can't cut the tether really, but you can go through the motions of doing so if need be. These folks ebb and flow through your life with periods of calm and periods of intensity.

Then you have your friends. These are the people who are close to you, those you have chosen to be around and they have chosen you. A lover, a life partner, a friend you meet for Happy Hour, a friend you problem solve with. Now these are the folks that may indeed be your family, on a daily basis. They are your intimates, distant only due to lack of blood relation.

Then there is your Stratosphere. The Stratosphere is made up of those circling you, your contemporaries, those who are living and working parallel to you. You compete with those in this group. This is the group that makes connections for you behind the scenes. This is the push and pull of The Stratosphere.

When someone dies in the friend group, the family group, that is when you feel an immediate loss.

When someone dies in your Stratosphere, it is a loss for sure, but it's also a lesson.

The world tips. One foot in the day-to-day sunny life, one foot in the afterlife. You limp thru the week, month, year, trying to understand this lesson. An utterly surreal period: fine at times but never really solid. The idea that things are locked in, systems are in place, is really off its axis. You see yourself in that life, in that person. It's all the easier to project into their life because you don't have every detail, you only have a sketch.


How many friends does one have?

Even social media algorithms cut you off at 5000. Can someone really have thousands of friends? Not very likely. Most people have five at the most. You can affect those people: live with them, share love, share heartbreak, share the elements of life, but there really is just so much to go around. Now your Stratosphere, now that can extend indefinitely. Your Stratosphere doesn't really require the nurturing, the reciprocation, or any of the maintenance. You can touch those people...just a little...and they can touch you...and that can make a profound impression. 

In Memory of Toby Burditt  2/16/1968 - 9/17/2014

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