To have a friend, you must be one.
– The Lone Ranger
A confessional from under the Jolly Roger (see Monday’s blog). No flag of surrender here. It’s in praise of the to the death commitment that sustains true friendship.
That’s an investment that comes neither cheaply nor lightly. Here’s the deal; Kevin and Trudy are our house guests this week. Looking forward to their visit I was excited yet hadn’t anticipated the actual impact of the experience of being with them at home, particularly with Kevin, this time. An aspect of taking for granted the nature of the visit had crept over me. Out of such laxness I was quickly woken!
Kevin is an influence of the existential kind, the most alive to the world and others person I know. His spirit is life lived, full force into the fray, full speed whatever the magnitude or emotional consequence. No turning back, little can slow him down in what he quickly assesses as the right thing to do. He acts. His mind, creativity and attentions to others all engaged together, relentlessly. Do, be, give it all. Rust sleeps in Kevin’s shadow.
This appreciation of the man, of my friend, is what I became instantly aware of in his presence. And in the same breath my gratitude, my fortune in having him as a best friend. His belief in me beyond my own opinion of myself. A declaration that opens me up to greater capability. A caring that connects me to an affirmation of a larger world available, and within my grasp. A nudging to engage what was always there but screened with the risk of to be.
This is commitment to friendship, a given attending to another. How critical that is at any age. The simple gesture of unconditional connection. A gift of giving that feeds the dynamic of reciprocation, taking another into your life and you into theirs. What greater voyage of journey and discovery than release from a limited perspective of inner self to a greater connected space with another. There is an honoring in the attending, which reflects back and learns in the process. It is the proof in the pudding of giving in order to receive, to give and learn at the same time.
Friendship is a leap of faith. We choose our friends, unlike our families, and we are chosen. The deep investment, time and emotional commitment must be sustained. No guarantees. You do not know how it will turn out or call on your responsibility to its expectations. Always the vulnerability, the deeper the emotional commitment the more pronounced the risk of loss. We can’t ensure we are a true friend, bound by someone other than ourselves, until we are in the situation. But always, as well, the possibility, the vitality of that special, transformational connection.
To the death, to the end of time, we fly our flag.