Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What I meant to say about friends

Friends: There’s a meme I saw the other day that suggested bloggers link to their favorite post on friends. Several of the blogs I read regularly have taken up the challenge, and I thought about adding a few links too. But when I read through my archives I realized I didn’t have one friend post that I’d classify as a favorite. For me friends are hard to talk about. Like my work, I feel as if I should avoid presenting my friends in a public space, misrepresenting them with my perspective, identifying them.

I considered what I would write, if I did take on the topic. I thought about writing, not about my friends and their own stories, but about their affect - their light and how it falls across my life. And I thought about my friend Marjorie, my best friend in Prague. The friend I babbled on the phone with everyday, the friend I spent Fridays talking to till late in the night, the friend we nearly bought a house with - sketching out flats and making plans for visits up and down stairs. Host of holiday dinners, birthday cake baker, festival and party planner - the center of our social world. The friend, Southern too, who understood the importance of silver and knowing your first cousins twice removed, but who had left the South, because, like me, she was too outspoken and ambitious to truly fit and wanted to try somewhere else.

The friend who died, suddenly, in the early days of November last winter, leaving me with nothing to say that could possibly be enough.

But then I thought about my other friends and how it might be possible to write about them. To write about how their friendships stretched beyond words that terrible season. How Will let me disappear into work and something other than recollection, stepping in to care for Caroline for months; how two others delivered food and companionship sometimes daily; remembering the friends who made Thanksgiving for us that year, the two who traveled across Europe at New Years to pull us out of the house for fireworks and toasts, the friends who gave me the gift of being their daughter’s godmother, the friend who lent me his piano so that I could play into abstraction and nearly joy, the friend - my sister - who shook me out of constant sorrow and back into myself.

You see? Each a light, falling across that terrible darkness that comes from losing someone so close to you it's impossible to imagine her being gone. If I were to talk about my friends, that is what I would want to say. That, and thank you.


Tommy Williams said...

This is sad and beautiful. I hesitated to leave a comment since I could only sully what you have written but then I thought you should know that your elegy did not pass unnoticed.

lenabee said...

And I will say only this:


Karla said...

I'm glad the time has come when you're beginning to feel ready to write about losing Marjorie. Not because we need to read it, but because it's part of the healing process... especially the recognition that while no one can ever replace her, many people helped you through the worst pain.

Maybe on Valentine's Day we should all think about the many people who in big or little ways help us through life.

LeS said...

I found your post through Michelle's site and am so glad that I did. I am so touched and my heart swelled and warmed and sent love straight to you. Know that she feels you and your love for her still. Hug yourself and know that she wants you to be happy :)