"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Friendship Isn't For Weaklings

I had tea with a friend today. A new friend that I've been thinking about learning more about for a while now. We had tea, and several glasses of water and had one of those veeeeery long, magically catch-fire multi-hour visits where we talked as fast as we could the whole time, sometimes over each other in order to maximize our ability to share information. It was the kind of conversation and visit that makes A roll his eyes, just in recounting. Frenetic, and all about losing track of time and laughing and crying and four thousand exclamations of "I know it! Isn't that how it is??" back and forth from both of us. I left, far later than I thought I would, practically floating on air. I'd had such a deep relational feed that I felt like I was brimming and burbling over a bit as I hopped back in my mini-van.
Friendship love and truthImage via Wikipedia
I like friends. And honestly, truth be told, I more than like them...I need them. I know the old saying is that it "takes a village to raise a child" but I think it is even true for grown woman.  It takes a village for each of us. No person should stand alone in life. We are created to live in community, to have multiple people in life we can depend on, who depend on us and to hear from several different reliable sources the important message that we are loved, that we matter, that we rate. In some ways I am doing better than I have in years in the friend inventory, I have a really close pal whom  I know I can call day or night, I am closer to my sisters and parents than ever in my life and my marriage may yet make it. Even though I am at historic highs for me, I am acutely aware that I really need a network behind me. That it isn't enough to have "friend" in the singular...I need a bunch of people in my life who feed the various facets of me and a few who can be the 3AM level of dependability and depth. I used to think this kind of thing was weakness, neediness or even co-dependency but I'm now convinced that the drive to connect is normal and healthy and those who connect, deeply and frequently with good friends are sturdier and happier and more resilient for it.
Corvus corax This photo shows a pair of birds ...Image via Wikipedia

I'm over independence. Interdependence is the new macho. I'm busy making a list of people I know who look like interesting potential chums and those people who have already extended a hand and would only need a little encouragement to cement the connection. Friendship doesn't happen by accident but it is worth sweating a little to create. I've been floating all day after my long nosh with my new pal, I feel so much more empowered and able to handle the rough bits of motherhood on a Wednesday evening. I'd go a long ways for a dose of that kind of boost.
My photos that have a creative commons license...Image via Wikipedia

I love this blog post by the inspirational Megan over at Sorta Crunchy, on the topic of community.

And this section of scripture from Eccleciastes feels more meaningful out of nowhere, sometimes old truths suddenly light up like a neon shop sign.

 9 Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
   one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
   and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  
------Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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