I just watched a movie made for women. It was gorgeous, well set and beautifully made. It has forced me to think about the bonds we form in our lives the ones that last a lifetime.
My oldest relationships are with my sisters and friends.
The blessings I receive through their very existence is amazing.
“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is about these relationships. The movie revolves around two story lines intertwined, made into one seamless heart wrenching tale. I won’t tell you much about it because I think you should all watch this film.
It’s mostly foreign with subtitles. By the end it is all subtitles, and I think that’s part of the beauty.
Intermittently while watching I have been talking to my oldest friend that I have in this very small world. She and I met when we were 11 years old shortly after I moved to a little town in the hill country. We road the same school bus, were in the same class, and through the years we have always remained close. We talk about anything and everything. We have shared sorrows and joys with each other that we don’t share with everyone else. She understood my “Anne of Green Gables” obsession between ages 12 and 14 and I understood her Anne Rice obsession a few years later.
We know all each other’s secrets and still – we like each other. We love each other. There are few people I would do as much for, some would say she is my kindred spirit.
I must admit that we have challenged the relationship and lost touch for a while over the years, but eventually one of us reaches out, we catch up.
We always catch up.
Nothing was ever so horrible that it made either of us say we hated one another…not from the time we met through not (at least not that I am aware.)
She’s watched as my mind goes from one thought to the next and then on again and back and forth and back again.
Who is it that dictated a soul mate had to be of the opposite sex? Who is it that determined they had to be a sexual partner? Why couldn’t it simply be the one person who through our life has remained ever present?
The Greek tale of humans being split in two and left to find their other half, did it say that the other half was explicitly the opposite sex?
Once we discussed soul mates in our girls group and two of our friends said that they considered one another their soul mate and I thought it was a bit odd. How could they be the others soul mate? What is it about a soul mate that I just didn’t get?
I thought it was the husband and wife partnership. But now i think it doesn’t have to be.
The movie brought up the concept of a Laotong.
The short version of a laotong is the non-blood sister that you are matched with from a young age. You depend on each other for emotional and moral support and through out your lifetimes you help each other.
In the movie, the women were eventually married, but the man was not the soul mate, the laotong was the soul mate and the man was simply a business/procreation matter. (Please remember it’s Chinese.)
I think it is possible to have multiple people you are this close to these days, but nothing is so sacred as your oldest friend.
I know that men are often driven off the deep end with the sister relationships in our lives. They know that some how they will never have the same amount of intimacy or understanding. But why?
I think it comes down to the fact that they are us and we are them. We have seen each other in every condition you can imagine. Also, we have our own scars, so when something unexpected happens and all they want to do is cry – we let them. We hold their shoulders and leave them alone until they are done. Then we find a way to make them happy.
Depending on which sister I ask questions, see if there is anything I can do to help, or I simply wait. I put on a funny movie, grab the Edy’s and we sit there sharing ice cream until we are both in laughing fits. My little sister and I do that one. Though I must admit she is usually the one patching me up and sending me on my way. She is an amazement to me.
I seek comfort in the familiarity of my little sister’s home. She has lived there for a nearly a decade, while I have moved so much that I know that I will be more sad than she is when she finally moves. We talk and chatter and cook and bake all at her kitchen counter. We have listened to all of the tiny feet we have given birth to learn to walk across her floor. We’ve painted the rooms every shade of white and every spring rip out the same banana trees, those things just won’t die! I will even miss her ghost. Yes, we are pretty sure she has one.
Our sisters keep us sane. Our sister keep us whole. My sister’s they keep me safe and wrapped in the feeling of love.
The love of men may come and go, but nothing is the same as the love of sisters.
Perhaps they really are our soul mates…