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i was going to title this entry "stolen", but community seems more apropos. the following is a comment i posted on a friend's blog. i've been thinking about the topic all day, and i think the comment can stand alone, so i decided to repost it here with minimal modification.


friendship. i really like friendship. my family doesn't really connect well, emotionally; and so the deepest love i know this side of heaven is that of friends. i really can't express how much i value a true, solid friendship.

i've never been a person interested in getting to know a whole lot of people in any given place. 'if you can't go deep, why bother?' is sort of my attitude. other people have other outlooks, and that is totally cool. but for me, given a small handful -- heck, maybe even only one, or two -- deep, life-giving friendships in any given place, and you will find one content mdog. people that are willing to encourage me and walk with me and call me out when necessary and love me when i don't deserve it... this is where healing is found.

this [small college town] is a bad town to be in, in terms of the likelihood of people leaving my life. i remember saying at one point, "i'm not going to get to know anyone else, because they're just going to leave, anyway!" i said this jokingly, but i mean, seriously: doesn't it feel rational some days? i admit i sometimes decide to not get close to someone because i know they're only here for a defined period of time. i'm still not sure if that's a sign of cowardice, or self-preservation.

i've felt my fair share of abandonment. the end of 2003 and much of 2004 was not what i would call the best time of my life. much of my support system had either moved away or were otherwise unavailable to me. at some point i started getting connected with others again; but i had to make efforts, many of which took me out of my comfort zones. i'm an introvert through and through... but even introverts need community and connection. i know relationships aren't going to be handed to me on a silver platter: after any initial easy connections, they take a certain amount of maintenance and thought to stay healthy. sometimes i feel left out of things. i think we all do. and then sometimes you have to take charge of your life and find or create situations where you can be open and available to people. and it's not always easy. but it's usually good.


any thoughts on the subject of friendship? unleash.
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 01:36PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments7 Comments

Reader Comments (7)

i was saying something along this vein yesterday. there has been much drama in my life in recent months (even the past year; you know to what i'm referring probably). it's in my best interest to step back from the drama and find some sort of middle road. in making that decision, i told a work friend yesterday that there are only 2 people in my immediate vicinity that hanging out with them would not bring spastic amounts of hysteria into my life. last night i spent time with one of those people & despite a lack of sleep when i see him, a good time was had by both of us.
friends are incredibly important to me. i would likely consider my mother to be one of my best friends and family is tight (i only wish my little brother was in contact more). i'd like to think that i have scads of friends, but the ones who are really important to me number far fewer. maybe that's shallow of me; i don't know. or maybe i should be more selective in the semantics of friend vs. acquaintance.
Mar 3, 2005 at 04:12PM | Unregistered Commentermar
i don't think that's shallow at all. i have many people i call friend [you can't very well say, "this is my acquaintance, so-and-so" during an introduction, for example!]; but the people i would feel comfortable calling at three in the morning... these people are in a league all their own.

there are friends you do stuff with, and friends you hang out with; and then, there are intimate friends, the ones with whom you can share anything. these -- these are the friends that sustain me.
Mar 3, 2005 at 04:41PM | Registered Commentermdog
true. too true.
Mar 3, 2005 at 05:15PM | Unregistered Commentermar
i was just discussing friendships and acquaintanceships with a friend only moments ago. i, like mdog, have many people in my life i call "friend." but, also like mdog, there are only two or three i could call at any time and for any reason. i'm not one who seeks out people, nor am i one to whom people flock to establish a new friendship. often, when someone is intentional about doing so, i become wary. not sure why that is.

i've never dealt with feelings of abandonment, but i have had friendships that, for one reason or another, have fallen by the wayside and are best left there. friendships with people who were not good for my overall well-being.

as i have aged, i have become more settled in who i am and who i want to become. i am more comfortable in my skin and don't look to others to define me or give me their approval.

as is inherent in my kind-hearted nature, i sometimes wonder how those people are. but most often i do not. have i grown cold? perhaps. have i grown up? yes. have i grown strong? definitely.

mdog, if you ever need to call me at 3am, you're more than welcome to. :)
Mar 3, 2005 at 06:20PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
"Any thoughts on Friendship..."

yea, friends don't steal other friend's blogs! :O)

Can you steal a blog. By its very nature isn't a blog public domain?

As much as I love deep friendship, there is something exciting about a new friendship just being formed. I often think back to the early days of some of my closest friends and try to remember what it was like when I first met them. My impressions of them...them of me. I wish I had a life-long friend. In fact, I think my wife is the person I have known longest and am still close with!
Mar 3, 2005 at 10:55PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
well, it's not like we've got the exact same pool of readers or anything!

technically, not public domain, no. [note website footer]. you write it, it's yours!

i do agree, there is something about new beginnings...

"The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one,' -- it is then that Friendship is born." - C. S. Lewis
Mar 3, 2005 at 11:05PM | Registered Commentermdog
I'm behind on this one, so I don't know if anyone's still checking this thread, but I'll post a thought anyway. I love the phrase you wrote "the best love this side of heaven." That's got me thinking. What is the best love. Hmmm...the most loved I've ever felt in a real, immediate sense, for better or for worse has to be when I've been in the arms of a man who I know loves me and whom I feel happy to be loved by. In that moment, it doesn't matter if the love is selfish at times or inconsistent or even (gasp!) non-Christian...it feels so desperate and beautiful and intense. I know the answer that is more Christianically correct is something like this (which is true, just not the first one that came to mind): I have a couple of girlfriends who just really GET me. We laugh so hard and are so wonderfully comfortable with each other. One tiny look speaks volumes and a single raised eyebrow contains enough words for a New York Times article. I love those ladies. They are the ones I can share the grossest most awful, embarrassing, shameful, inappropriate, awkward things with and know that without fail they will love me....and maybe even love me a little bit more because when I'm embarrassed, ashamed, etc...that's when I need it.
Mar 16, 2005 at 03:19PM | Unregistered Commenterlemonscarlet

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