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Category Archives: friendship

Within Love

I sent this quote to a friend the other day, because it related to a conversation we’d had.  I should’ve known better than to blithely send a pretty thought about a weighty thing; it’s the pleasantly abstract ideals I spout that become impossibly real and gritty when I’m put to the test.  I usually don’t have long to wait for the test.  Today, being love has been grueling, and I’ve abandoned love a lot.  I’ve been petty and selfish and subtly vengeful.  But I still want to be within love, still know it’s where I belong, and I still like this perspective:

It is about large love, the love that encompasses all things, even those things you don’t particularly like. So to do anything in love does not at all mean to Be In Love. It means maybe to be within love, to be love, as opposed to hate and all its many avatars. It means to forsake the thieves of love, to banish greed and pride and desire and anger and jealousy and fear. -S Wiegand



At the risk of wearing out my welcome

[I’m heading home, opting to forego time at some friends’ house]

K-Dubs: You don’t have to stay long; just come for a little while.

me: I’m not very good at a little while.  We both know that if I go, I’ll end up staying for hours.

K-Dubs: You did a good job staying for just a little while yesterday [we’d spontaneously dropped in the same friends].

me: K, I was there two and a half hours.

K-Dubs: Oh.  Well. . .

Which got me started quoting I’m long on staying; I’m slow to leave (from an album that could be my past 12 months set to music.)

It’s really lucky for people that school is awfully busy right now, or I’d never be able to resist the draw of another cup of tea, another quiet conversation or more companionable silence, that afternoon walk, lingering over lunch.  I feel like I truly would take every moment and every minute.   Come summer. . . well, you’ve been warned.

On getting sick at home (in someone else’s house)

When I slumped into their couch, they could have said, “Gee, you’re looking more like death every minute.  Get out of here before you make us all sick.”  Instead, they wrapped me in a blanket, brewed me tea, and (lacking actual kleenex) brought me a roll of TP.  I declined the offer of medicine, but if the adage about laughter is true, I got some anyway.  When I finally stirred to leave, they offered to drive me home.

I’m graced, and I’m grateful.


A trifecta of great advice

Years ago, my good friend and college roommate (whose birthday was yesterday- happy birthday, M!) summed up her counseling grad degree for me with these three gems.  Maybe they stuck because they’re pithy, but it probably has more to do with the fact that her life illustrates them.

1) Normalize the abnormal.

2) Ask questions.

3) Move toward.

Time to forge some steel

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried/ Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel.


Labor parties- If you’re going to all that trouble or expense

Sometimes, labor parties are a good idea simply because they are efficient.  If you’re going to rent a ladder to clean your gutters, you might as well do it with your neighbors.  If you’re going to make a mess of your kitchen while you make casseroles for the freezer, you might as well invite some friends to add their mess.

Labor parties- because they are good for friendship

Labor parties are good for friendships because they give us new contexts for relationships.  We can see our friends in new situations and appreciate them in new ways.  I know I love my friends’ creativity, tenacity, and good-humor more because I’ve seen those strengths as we work together.

When we work together, we have more time for people.  When I’m feeling low on time, I try to remember to invite people to work with me.  Two very busy friends who are teachers get together and work side-by-side on their lesson plans.  That time slot wouldn’t be open for people unless they were willing to have a labor party.

Labor parties create interdependence that is good for us.  We love people more when we’ve done something for them or had them do something for us.  Plus, working together reminds us that we need to support one another.

The shared satisfaction at the end of a job well-done bonds the workers together.  That’s a great way to enhance a friendship!

As someone who isn’t always a talker, I appreciate that labor parties provide permission to stay close without chatting the whole time.  Labor parties relieve social pressure.