string cheese

Humans' lives are a lot like strands of string. They run parallel to one another along a long surface, representing time.

Ceaselessly, these strings touch or become close together, symbolic of a person passing others along the road, or people coexisting within the same neighbourhood. Most of the time, we don't pay much mind to these types of people since they're more or less strangers to us.

Very often however, two strings may become entwined for a second, representing the people we contact but never quite get to know, for example the librarian who checks out our books for us, or the starbucks worker who provides us with our green tea frappuccino.

Less often, but still fairly commonly, strings become loosely entwined for a long period of time; these would be our acquaintances, friends we don't know well, teachers, employers... but more often than not, eventually the strings will set off in separate directions after a while together.

Closer friends are like knotted strings... like a pair of earphones left in one's pocket, close friends have spent a lot of time together and know each other very well because they have had the time to better understand each other. But also, like the pair of earphones, these types of knots can eventually be undone.

The strongest types of friendships are the ones that last through life... the 'true' friends. Like the force required to tie a dead knot between strings, effort is required to create these types of friendships as well. We have to put care into preserving the friendships worth keeping, maybe reinforce the shoelace several times to ensure that it won't come undone, in order to have friends for life.

Strangers in one's life are natural; they are all around us...
Brief contact with others is necessary in our lives as well, even if we never get to know the other person and, likewise, acquaintances are kept often even if we have only met the other person once.
People naturally become closer if they spend a lot of time together...


true friendships require effort from both sides. there is no such thing as a 'natural' friendship that lasts through life. only with care and love for other people can one keep these true friends; the moment someone loses interest, the friendship is gone as well... true friends these days are very rare. just ask anyone you know if they are still close to their 'best friend' from their elementary school days. their high school school days, even their college days. I predict that the answer will more likely be no than yes. that's why it's important to remember that if you value a friendship, it's important to value the person as well! :] let's all care for our friends the way that we would like to be cared for, for the rest of our lives.


steph said...


one_entity said...

=_= first thought:
parallel strings should never touch or become close together

tis' a good analogy
i remember me and carmel saying once
that of all the things we do, relationships take the most time not only to strengthen but also maintain


winnie said...

^except plants. god, those things are so high maintenance.

YJ said...

nomnomnom. cheese

ilu winnie <3
i'll try be a good as friend as I can ~~ I dont want to lose you D:

Captain Barnaby said...


Anonymous said...

Well shits Winnie. Your oscillations of values and ideals are most intriguing. There seems to be some order behind it all - I just fail to perceive it right now.

Anonymous said...

Great analogy! I've often found myself observing random strangers and wondering about their stories, their motivation and whether our paths will ever cross again.

The first thing I thought of when reading this: the moments you interact with random strangers and have a mini-epiphany, or poignant thought.

Maybe two years ago, I was at the local supermarket with my mum, late at night. As we were leaving I looked back and saw this asian man. He was walking out in dirty overalls, carrying a few clear bags of groceries in his hands. But the reason I stopped to observe was because he seemed so tired, depressed; almost as if he radiated an aura of gloom. I thought he might be an immigrant who came to NZ for a better life; disillusioned by the reality - hostility/racism, working long shifts of manual labour to support his family.

But then I saw him near a crane machine filled with soft toys. He walked past, eyes wearily roving over the goods inside, before suddenly stopping and hesitating - as if deliberating. Then he turned, decision made, and strode over to the machine, dropping his bags and pulling out his wallet. In the end I was pulled away before I could see whether or not he won a toy, but I found myself desperately wishing he would.

My interpretation is that the toys reminded him of a daughter or son at home. And even in his disheveled state he cared enough to try and bring them something nice. Maybe I was only seeing what I hoped to see. But it reminded me of my own family, my favourite childhood stuffed toys, and parents working hard to succeed in a foreign land.

The whole scene happened within the space of less than 15 seconds, but for some reason, the moment has always stayed in my memory. I don't know why it feels so significant, maybe because it highlights some important things in life. Working hard, persevering, family, an ordinary man trying to do the best he can. It reminds me to appreciate that everyone has their own stories, and that there is so much beauty in this world.

But yeah, my original point was related to your string theory. Even though some strings may intertwine for only a second, never to cross again. Those moments can be meaningful. For me, it's as if the string representing my life was given a sharp tug to the side. Relating to your post on beauty in subtlety, zen moment etc (which linked this post). Every string which crosses your path can be significant, not just the ones closely intertwined with yours?

And just had a thought, there would be a limit to how many 'close' friends one could have. After a while, it becomes difficult to braid so many strings together, trying to keep them all in contact with each other? :P

Stumbled across something intereseting online today,
search peak experiences if cbf read page. Again, great idea about friendship!