We thank you for giving […] to us, […] family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage (BCP, Burial of the Dead, Rite II)

To know is to love. To love, is to know.
In the process of our journey here on earth, we meet strangers.
In the process of the journey on earth, we learn to know the strangers in us.
In the process of the journey on earth, we learn to know the strangers around us.

We start with apparences and guesses and likenesses.
Catching shadows, reading signs, watching out, trusting, keeping up and failing to keep up.
We start with words and silences and misunderstandings and direct meanings.
Blushes, stumlbings and getting straight, blunders and knowing exactly what to do, and often not getting it right.

We start from a distance.
We move in the Eliotan formal pattern of advances and retreats.
Till that moment in time, when my retreat is you advancing, and your change of pace causes a change in me.
We move to the slow beat of our hearts and our brain that are often at odds with each other.

Till that time when they start off in unison, then we know our selves.
We reach an agreement with other strangers: of admittable distances and speed, of the polite and impolite, of noise and of silence. We journey together.

And yet – we belong not here, not to ourselves, not to each other.
We are given. Like lessons, to learn by heart, from heart, with heart.
Our journey is personal. Strange, even to the strangers.
We learn each other, and walk by, and share.
Food, skin, life; thoughts, dreams, expectations.
Strength. Power. Vision.
And only the parting shows the value of the journey.

We are gifts, given for a time. A time of journey, a period of mutual appreciation.
Of knowledge. Of… ultimately, love.

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