“Every person is a new door to a different world.” (from movie “Six Degrees of Seperation”)
When I first moved to Utah, I met several women at church who introduced themselves to me and were very nice. I liked them and looked forward to getting to know them better and building a friendship with them. Instead, every one of them suggested I get to know a certain woman in the congregation. “We think you’d REALLY like her.”
I had left my friends behind in Colorado and missed them terribly. I didn’t know who the other woman was, but was so excited that there was a new friend waiting for me in Utah! I wondered if we were the same age, had the same talents, looked alike, had the same interests or what it was about me that reminded them of someone they already knew–and who they thought I’d be great friends with.
I soon found out. The woman was divorced.
“Being divorced is like being hit by a Mack truck. If you live through it, you start looking very carefully to the right and to the left.” (Jean Kerr)
Unfortunately, it takes more than a Mack truck to make a friendship!
I met the woman and couldn’t sense we had a single thing in common other than we were both divorced. We smile at each other and say hello, but that is the extent of our friendship. I have to say it again, it takes more than divorce (or having similar single status) to make a friendship.
The experience made me stop and wonder how often we categorize people, or make judgements about people, and cut ourselves off from many enriching experiences based on just one aspect of another’s existence. Although I’m a person who generally operates under the philosophy of “the more, the merrier,” I have been guilty of this in my own life on occasion and I have to wonder, “Did I ever compartmentalize friendship opportunities based on marital status?” I don’t think I did, but I hope, again, that I did not!
C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
My artist sister may argue with me about art not being necessary to survival (lol) and I am quite an art lover myself in my own way. So there is a part of me that disagrees with C.S. Lewis–especially the part of me that wonders how I would ever have lived through the events of the past almost year without friends. But this I know and do agree with C.S. Lewis about: friends have added color to what was at moments, the bleak canvas of an unexpected life.
When the canvas of my existence was revealed to be a forgery, when the museum my canvas was housed in was seized, and when everything about my life’s art was devalued by others and even destroyed on some levels by the choices of another, my friends were there for me. They helped give value to my survival. And that helped me do the same for myself and my children. And to keep pressing forward when I didn’t even have an idea of the picture I was striving to create.
Friendships HAVE touched my soul and enriched my life. I am so grateful and so blessed to have friends like that, who continue to give value to my survival and add color to my existence. So thank you, again, to my old friends and my new friends.
I don’t know what I’d do without each of you and your good influence in my life! Each of my friends has broadened my perspective and enlarged my world. And made it so fun and so valuable. I am touched every single day of my life by the kindness of friends. I hope every person in the world feels that same way about friends, their friends, and the doors to new worlds each friend we make opens to us.
“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” (lynnie_buttercup)