A good friend knows all your stories. A best friend helped you write them.
(found on stylecaster.com; origin unknown)
Who are the friends who helped write your stories?
I was thinking about walking this week, because it is the time of year to dust off my size eleven sneakers, charge up my ancient IPod, and start walking–an every night, after-dinner exercise that has become darned near a daily ritual. It’s a healthy, stress-relieving, meditative habit…and it’s a habit I would probably not have adopted had it not been for my friend Wendy.
So I wrote about walking, and I wrote about Wendy, and I thought about the strong web that our friends help us weave, creating the richness and the texture and the fabric of our lives. And I realized that the gifts our friends have given us create a rich lode to mine for writing topics.
We could write, for instance, about a friend who is just a fresh, unique, completely envigorating and different character–we could share that joy of that fully realized person with the world, describing her quirks and gifts, detailing his notable quotes and his happiest habits.
We could harken back to our very first best friend and explore in writing all that relationship taught us.
We could focus on an item, maybe–a funny coffee mug, say, that a dear friend gave us on a very special occasion, or a friend-crafted pillow embroidered and dated when the baby was born, or a scarf that we bought on an outing with a friend whose impeccable taste is legendary. It might be a book, perhaps, that she sent us, and whose words spoke right straight to our hearts. That treasured thing provides a doorway we can walk through, exploring the other, less tangible gifts that friendship brings.
The season can be a frame for writing about a friend–a friend whose green thumb is itching, these spring days in the northern hemisphere, to plunge into the dirt and make things grow. She might, every year, plant a riotous garden that makes passersby stop and stare. He might have contributed to the beauty of your own front-yard. We could write about our friends who nurture nature’s growth. We could write about friends who bring the light in winter’s darkness or friends who cause summer to sizzle.
We could remember the friend with whom we got into trouble–that dangerous friend our mothers warned us darkly about, the friend who brought glamour and edginess and maybe some sadness into our still-getting-shaped lives.
There are the friends we have lost, who left us much, much too young–we could remember them in writing, preserving that special bond even beyond death.
There are the friends with whom we’ve lost touch, but who were so intensely important at one critical point on our paths.
There are the friends of a different, older generation, the wise guides life gifted us with, the mentors who showed us pathways that might otherwise have been hidden.
Think about those difficult times, the times when work grated, when sleep was an elusive myth you barely remembered reading about, when the baby was sick, or the significant other–oh, how did this happen?–was patently lying. And think about the friend who helped you through that, who called, who brought chocolate or wine and just listened, whose scrawl was on the card that arrived on a black day to let you know someone knew, someone cared.
Think about the friend you needed by your side to make the happiest, most joyous days complete.
Those friends whose threads weave together with ours, who are firmly enmeshed in our tapestries,–they really have helped us write our stories. Is this a week to write about a friend who helped you write yours?
Happy blogging, my friends!