Friendship is time spent with people who want to hang out with you even if they don’t like everything about you. Friendship is about bringing good stuff into and taking bad stuff out of your friends’ lives. Friendship is about assistance, laughs, and sitting quietly when the bad stuff happens. It’s about food and conviviality, work and mutual aid. It’s thinking about what you can do that will be good for your friends, taking consideration for their quirks and griefs. It’s thinking about how you can celebrate the big life moments. Mostly it’s about time spent.
I think about the friends I have, and I’m really, really grateful. I’m alone in my skin… but I’m not alone.
While I’m thinking about it, I’d like to thank my mom, who’s managed the transition from parent to friend with a minimum amount of fuss and bother; Elly (documentary filming this week…. eek!) my oldest friend here in town (unless there are people here from grade school I don’t know about); Bonnie, my oldest friend (whom I light a candle for, I should call her…); Liz (source of my Pope fetish, who knew); Lucile for the recently rekindled and most welcome friendship; Catherine and her amazing mental monkey bars, LPW par excellence; The EverLightFilled Peggy, on whom I call down blessings, a woman who I feel is the model for adult female friendship, and o how I wish I could be more like her; Sandra, aka Chipper (I’m thinking of the Christmas meal we cooked on a wood stove and how amazingly delish it was); Deb, for off line giggles (and wise comments as well) as we navigate parenting and relationships; Tammy, who’s the most sophisticated lady I know in terms of both articulation and art; Jan for startling me with Chinese vampires, the grin on her face when I sang my new song, and an aesthetic appreciation of slash fic; Patricia for the many gifts, from poetry to trenchant advice; and a large contingent of female worksiblings, past and present, whom I am too wise to name (given the whole notion of an unindicted co-conspirator….) but I simply must call out Glenda, God rest her, and the Evil Twins; Katie K, who brings with her the unalloyed joy of allowing me to have my experiences reflected back to me by somebody who really HAS been there, and then some; my female inlaws Ruth and Lois, both of whom have been desperately needed friends, sounding boards and playground denizens for me; the church ladies including the mobility challenged Lady Miss Banjola; and the folks on LJ whose names I don’t even know. And Maggie.
Of my male friends, I call down rich blessings on Mike M, Brother Jerome, Tom U, Peter T., RobofNine, Brother James, Scary Clown, LGTW, Phil, whose entirely loopy and surreal take on life continues to charm, Paul, who has remained friendly, Peggy’s Tom, Brian C, and a big time hallelujah for the Dalai Jarmo, and special mention to Dr. Filk, whose current absence from my life – entirely my fault – does not remove the memory of his many kindnesses to me. A rainbow ribbon ’round the rest of my male churchsiblings. Special coloured sidebar to Tom whose photographs enliven these pages. And Glenn.
Indeed. Without friendship for a reference point, life gets very insular. I’m happy for the persons with few but excellent friends – but I’m happiest of all for me, because when I look over this list I’m the richest woman in the world, in all the things that matter.