I'd like you to meet a friend ..."
Just what does that mean -
a friend, friendship?
A friend's email got me thinking about friendship. What is it, for me anyway? He forwarded something that landed in his inbox, someone else's meditation on friendship. It included stuff like, that it was something one might even die for.
I thought of army buddies - who might die for each other.
That hasn't been friendship for me.
The first thing that comes to mind is people going further than they could without the friendship - friendship somehow shifting things, enabling things, making it easier, all kinds of things like that.
The friendship that most comes to mind is Montaigne's (essay writer) with his friend who died very early, maybe even at under 20 (don't remember). I read somewhere that all the essays were written with this friend in mind, that Montaigne was sure he could not have written these essays without the friendship.
The friend was an equal - which it seems Montaigne lacked except for this friend - something quite believable when one thinks of Montaigne (1533-1592) and then most of the people of his time.
So in writing his essays, in his mind Montaigne was writing to an equal, someone who could really hear him.
Another thing. I see friendship as bringing things alive in the 2 (or more) people - or anyway bringing them more alive - adding, stimulating.
So with the early women's rights movement, I know that in Canada, Nellie McClung had very close friendships with a number of women, starting with her mother in law, and later on with, for example, the other 4 women in the person's case. ("Are women persons?" It took a long time before the courts came down with the decision that, yes, women were persons.)
Still another thought. I think that friendship is about things growing. In Adrienne Rich's words, "ever increasing the truths we can tell each other".
That was a couple of days ago.
This morning, into my inbox came this quote from Anaïs Nin:
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
That say, in more poetic language, a lot of what I've been saying - that it brings things alive in us.
I know someone who's proud of being the same, no matter who he's with. I understand what he's saying.
But I know I'm different with different people. I laugh more with one person, think more with another, get excited with one person but not another.
So meeting someone new is, at best, meeting a part of myself that only comes out because I've met that person.
Then ... there is something I haven't mentioned yet. Feeling. Liking. How much does it matter that there's the feeling of liking?
I'll leave that for another time.
January 8, 2013
To go from these thoughts on friendship,
to blog journals on love,
To go from, what is friendship,
to the home page,
Thoughts on Friendship, about Friendship.
It's not, til death do us part.
What is friendship, anyway?
What does it do for us?.