Last night I could not sleep, and spent a lot of time rolling around processing random thoughts and remembering really odd stuff. One thing that came to me was the memory of this slightly corny but incredibly thoughtful poem that I found in an old anthology when I was in high school. I have been mulling over the nature of friendship a bit for the past couple of weeks, and to me this sums up my deepest feelings about it all:
What is a Friend? I'll tell you.
It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Your soul can go naked with him.
He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you really are.
When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.
You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.
He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.
With him you breathe freely-you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities
and in opening them up to him they are dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty.
He understands. - You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him-through and
underneath it all he sees, knows and loves you.
A Friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be YOURSELF.
We cross paths with so very many people on this earth, and it is sometimes difficult to know who is your friend. What I particularly love about this poem is that implies that true friendship is not something that is cultivated... it is a natural state of looking at another person, faults and all, and loving the whole thing. As I said to a friend the other day....It is a person you can look in the eyes and know that they are looking back with their whole selves, no pretense, no disguise.
I have been blessed with some incredible friends over the years, and my life is 100% percent richer with you in my life. Thank you thank you thank you.
ps. the pictures I used today are prints by two of my favorite Etsy artists: The Black Apple and CreativeThursday. If you love them too you can purchase them for your very own HERE: salt & pepper and sock monkeys.