Sunday, September 13, 2015
Friends: preliminary thoughts
"Friend" -- always to me an ambiguous word. Is a friend more than an acquaintance? Is a friend one I never disagree with, and vice versa? Are we soul mates, whatever that means?!
In grammar school it was one thing; same w/ high school. Friends were proximate, for starters. But what was the draw?
Not till college do I now consciously remember friends being intellectual mates, and then/therefore, "friends" -- e.g., those in the same group I was for communications/lit classes. No need to deny now: we were advanced/special/gifted (tho I didn't know that at the time). So in a sense, we also competed w/ one another, besides having fun together. . . One, Estelle, was special, at least for some time.
Then, while teaching and in state govt., first there was Pam, mainly my horseback riding friend; a (very) few of those I worked w/ in Trenton (Debbie S., Barbara R.); and gradually I moved over to the artists I was trying to learn about via my PAA volunteering. Friends morphed into admired artists-- quite a difference, really.
After that, freelance writing and auditing PU courses introduced me to many others -- Charlotte B., Gwendolyn, many others, however fleetingly, although some friends from earlier stayed the course -- Barbara, as a main one.
By then, I was looking for different things, or more than, fun from friends: similar interests, values; admiration, a chance to learn . . . Except for Maggi over many years, artists I wrote about came and went; I'd see them for a while, then not, then again. And many of them were a deal older than I -- was I looking for a mother-sub?
Besides, so many artists are hopeless narcissists. Thus, Connie, and others, whose focus was inward.
Others I wrote about, like Susie, also came and went, depending on life events and their or my needs. . . Gail is another -- but she's on the west coast!
Now, looking back, those who have hung in w/ me -- Barbara and Gwendolyn leading the pack -- were not the ones I would have bet on, or even hoped would do so. . . then. But oh, how I value them now, now when I'm more interested in character than much else.
Friends. Much more to say on this; to follow.
Posted by Pat Summers at 5:46 PM