Meetings and encounters

I am now in my 91st year and I have been reflecting on the friends I have encountered during my life. Many have acted as signposts or guides, such as my Jungian analyst Dr Elkisch; while others have not been afraid to hold a mirror up to me, reflecting my faults or weaknesses – such friends are rare but so important.

I have been thinking also of those major loves which have profoundly changed me. These encounters are surely far from accidental, but rather, in some sense, inevitable. Why do certain people come into one’s life in this way, often when least expected? Were X and I meant to meet and come into a relationship, whether of love or of friendship? In many of our emotional and sexual encounters we are like passing ships, but there are those few relationships which become a long voyage of discovery.

And so one asks: Where does the attraction between two people come from? Is there a destiny at work here? Who can tell why some find the perfect partner and some don’t? How do they manage to be in the same place at the same time? If they had missed that moment would they have remained strangers?

6 thoughts on “Meetings and encounters”

  1. Hello James..
    Barbara Taylor told me about Dr. Elkisch and how much he had helped you. At that time I was working with Brian Thorne who with Prue Conradi founded the Norwich Centre for Counselling.I agree with you that our encounters over our lives have great meaning. Many years ago I drove you to visit Barbara Taylor in Sheringham. On the journey we talked about the poem of Robert Frost and the special ending lines:-
    “But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep
    and miles to go before I sleep!”

    1. Barbara Taylor told me about Dr. Elkisch and how much he had helped you. At that time I was working with Brian Thorne who with Prue Conradi founded the Norwich Centre for Counselling. I agree with you that our encounters over the course of our lives have great meaning. Many years ago I drove you to visit Barbara Taylor in Sheringham. On the journey we talked about the poem of Robert Frost and the memorable ending lines:-
      “But I have promises to keep.
      And miles to go before i sleep
      And miles to go before I sleep”

  2. I have had a long and exciting life and now I am physically
    slowed I spend much more time in contemplation. The same questions have occurred to me. I just wish I could live it all again while paying much more attention to detail. Had I done so I would not have so many questions unanswered.

  3. James, I believe that my guardian Angel helps me by guiding me to some very wonderful long term and new friendships, he/she also steers me away from others, whom I am best not meeting.

    Over my driving career I have often been amazed by the near misses of milli seconds, that had I just been a bit quicker on the journey some ones poor driving would have caused my death or injury. The other day I was driving on a narrow country lane in Herefordshire, which was usually quiet, we met several vehicles all of them in a safe passing spot, I said to my companion “my guardian Angel is sat on the roof keeping an eye on us”, then when we came to the main road as we approached the junction suddenly a pick up truck swept off the A49 as fast as he could to avoid oncoming traffic cutting the corner swerving at the last second to avoid hitting us head on, if we had been a few yards or feet nearer the junction a collision would have been certain death to my passenger and me. We looked at each other in amazement, and I said, ” I told you how hard he had to work looking after us”.
    This is not a one off it has happened hundreds of times over the last 58 years of driving many thousands of miles. Glad to read that you are still keeping well, perhaps we’ll see each other again one day at Bleddfa , may your Angels keep you safe, Love Brian

  4. I am coming to the Bleddfa week of storytelling in August. I wonder if I will meet you there? Your books and thoughts seem to appear at pivotal moments for me and these emails always have a timely message. Thank you!

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