I understand myself through my friendships, the dearest ones are closest to my heart, but the passing ones, seeming momentary encounters also deepen my understanding of my place in this world. I'm so grateful for them all. Here are three of my close friends speaking on friendship.
I first saw this magical being, late in the evening, at a country fair. She was twelve years old and captivated everyone around her with larger than life stories, gesticulations and movements that made me question the reality of her presence. She is so full of life and truth. We became inseparable for many years, lived wildly in the South and shared a tiny room together, with our friend Jude, in a crazy loft in Tribeca.
Friendship: A love poem
My friends glow
larger than life,
we speak with eyes,
and infinite variation of smile -
an effortless language.
The rhythm: intuition.
I am spellbound, wrapt.
I am fearless.
I clasp your hand, I cannot fall.
We are masters of our universe.
This moment: our work of art.
Painted in light, free from shadow
in awe of your grace,
the electricity that we create: my potent fuel.
Perfect is replaceable, replicable.
But you? Never.
We met at the tiny local coffee shop four years ago when my son was six months old and her son was a couple months younger. I loved her as soon as I saw her and felt thrilled at the enthusiasm we shared from the very beginning of our friendship. Those early months of motherhood are so tiring, a new relationship that gives energy is an unexpected treasure.
To me, a friend is someone who sees you with all your gifts, contradictions, weaknesses, blindspots, and strength and loves you without needing to erase or hide from that complexity. Equally important, a friend can say what you need to hear, ideally in a moment when you can hear and bear it. And real friends are willing to roll through sometimes bruising each other's feelings in the process of real, committed, loving communication.
Mother's Day weekend I met her and her five day old daughter. Frequenting the tiny coffee shop and always having to negotiate getting through the tight space with a baby led me to bump into Jenny and talk with her about the most important things in my very new motherhood. Four years later we gravitate towards each other and I find our friendship deeply grounding and supportive. She expresses so much strength and care in all she does. I'm not sure how to express how grateful I am to have her as a role-model.
A friend is:
Joy, Inspiration, Laughter, Family, Embrace, Concern, Reassurance, Love, Forgiveness, Understanding, and Kindness
There are a few friends that I have known for my whole life who can remember my first crush and my skinny awkward nerdiness; the people that still always keep me honest and grounded. There are the friends who became my weekly support network complete with wine and wisdom after my relationship ended; the care and love that made it possible to evolve. There are my colleagues at work—people who I might not see for 6 months or a year as we fly the friendly skies but with whom I share a common passion and a history of traversing similar paths to our current lives. There are my real and true grown-up friends that chose me every bit as much as I chose them; the beautiful smart talented fun women that both welcomed me to my chosen city Brooklyn and supported me in my surprise pivot to motherhood. These friends are the women who always make time for coffee, for a phone call, to sit together in a park, to pick up my child, or drop off flowers, or fly in for a visit, or open their fold-out couch for me and these are the friends who I hope with all my heart that I live up to the wondrous gift of their friendship. I want to support and cherish and celebrate these friendships every day and through all the joys and turmoil of our daily lives. With friends I feel like the better version of myself, the one who listens more patiently, feels more empathetically, learns more willingly, forgives more easily, and loves more self-lessly. To live a life amongst friends is to constantly and actively and generously be available. I live in gratitude every day for friendship.