Reflections on Friendship

I always feel a little weird when using the word "blessed," because it seems a little presumptuous to me to assume that because you've got good things in your life, you've been smiled on by Fortune or by G-d or have some other reason for thinking you're in a bit of light and warmth denied to other people. But I suppose it's not like you're the only one who's blessed, if you are, or think you are, because like love, there's plenty of blessing to go around. I like the sense of "blessed" best that speaks of endowment or favor, rather than the hallowed sense or anything conferring the religious implication most people think of; can we agree that here it means the more casual or serendipitous sense of the word? Good.

Anyway, all this is by way of saying that one of my life's greatest blessings has been friendship. Whether from the love of childhood friends like J, M or B, college friends like T, L, M and J, old friends like A or P, or new friends like D, D and H, I marvel at how full my life is thanks to these people who share it. I love my family, of course, and I adore Bryan, but it's amazing the difference that having a family of friends makes, isn't it? A panoply of personalities enriches the world around us, and it keeps you young, I think, to laugh as hard as you can, and to have someone to hug and hold hands with and the someones with whom to have inside jokes and secrets and share even your inner snarkiness and not-so-pretty traits.

Here are what some dead people have said about this esteemed group, far more eloquently than I can:

Honest men esteem and value nothing so much in this world as a real friend. Such a one is as it were another self, to whom we impart our most secret thoughts, who partakes of our joy, and comforts us in our affliction; add to this, that his company is an everlasting pleasure to us. --Bidpai

Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul!Sweetener of life! and solder of society! -- Robert Blair

L’amitié est l’Amour sans ailes (Friendship is Love without his wings). -- Byron

When Zeno was asked what a friend was, he replied, “Another I.” -- Diogenes Laertius

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair. -- Samuel Johnson

And best of all, from Polonius's farewell speech to Laertes:
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.
Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3. (That's yer Shakespeare, in case you're not hip to the Bard.)

Peace to you; call your friends. Tell 'em you love 'em.


Blogger Di said...

Can I just leave a comment on their blog? =)

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogs? Are those things still around?


12:56 AM  

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