And They Came To Believe And It Came To Pass ~ Late Evening Thoughts

[updated video link 9/26/2012]

Hopefully, by the time I’m done this post will make sense.  Starting with Friday, this was an amazing weekend for me.  I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday, went with two VERY dear friends to Rocky Horror Picture Show with a wonderful, silly and noisy audience, and Sunday went to a club where I actually felt free to dance and not worry about the “youngers” standing on the sides going “ewwwww”!  I also, at the club had my inner theater geek (30+ years in theater will do that do you) explode as I got to see ~ but sadly not touch ~ the computerized controls for the entire light system.  Yes, it was an amazing, exhausting but fun weekend.  A true mountain top experience.

As we all know, you really can’t live on the mountain top ~ you inevitably must go down into the valley.  And that’s where I came to today.  One thing I’ve learned is that there’s really no good grass or water on the mountain top, it’s down in the valley.  While the valley may not be totally comfortable and it’s certainly NOT the high of the top, it still is very, very important and extremely worthwhile ~ if you let it.

As I was dealing with the “down” of today, my mind went to some of my friends complaints that I have a tendency to believe in people far longer than I should.  I know that it is sometimes a problem.  I had one person I was trying to help who fell into the pattern of using me to “have a place to stay to sober-up, get a little food to eat, clothes washed and a little money” – rinse, repeat.  I have another that I have such a soft spot for…a couple of years ago, he was trying to spark a business and I made an investment.  Not in the business, but in him.  I believed in him then, and I believe in him now.  I’m seeing some pay-off from the investment, but I must be the only one so far.

But as I was wondering in my mind ~ there is a saying that “My mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied ~ especially at night ~ I began to question my belief in people.  Then, my inner “me” took me back through much of my life … the problems in college, relationships that failed – badly, the three suicide attempts.  It was the third attempt  (which I posted about here before – feel free to read the history),  when at the CRU – the Crisis Residential Unit – that someone actually said they believed in me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty that believed in me, but somehow I had to come to the bottom before I could really realize it.  And as I climbed out of THAT “slough of despond” I became acutely aware of how powerful our belief in someone can be.  Oh, I’ve done it before, but there always seemed to be an agenda.  Now, I’m working agenda free.

To me, that’s where the power really begins.  You see someone not just as they are, but as they could be for themselves…..not as the person YOU want them to be.  I can’t change anyone, I can only encourage and believe in them.  They may not take the paths I would have or would have chosen – but they are on their own journey not mine.

I’m going to post more on this at another time, but also during the “down” of today, I found this video.  Here’s the power of only ONE person believing in someone.  He had only one person, his grandmother…I still cry each time I watch this video.  I want my life to be as she is … in the background, but believing.  That’s one of the things I’d like to be remembered for when – in the not too distant future – I’m gone that someone will say: “He believed in me”.

First off, I’m sorry there will probably be an ad (it is from You Tube after all) and please watch it all the way through and see what terrible power being told “you’re not good enough” can have over someone.  I’m not saying we have to encourage someone when they obviously can’t do something.  There’s no way at my age and (ahem) physical condition I’ll be an Olympic athlete – but there’s other things I can do…. and so can you.

[It appears I own an apology to Freemantle AND X-factor UK …Here’s the video embedded]

See people where they are, and for who they are … and as I used to tell my speech students, don’t change the pattern, just eliminate the flaws.

Mid-Morning Thoughts ~

Hopefully, everyone’s weekend was somewhat better than this one …

(h/t to

For my part, I had a delightful weekend…I connected with a dear, dear friend that I had not seen for a number of years!! You know it’s a dear friend when you can catch up on the fly, and not feel as if there’s been a huge space since you’ve been together!!!

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus
A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
Arnold H. Glasow
A good friend will bail you out at 2am.  A true friend will be sitting there with you saying: “Damn, that was fun!!! – (unknown)

It also reminded me that life is indeed short, and our purpose is NOT to arrive at the grave all pretty and posed – to be lowered gently into the ground.  Life is to be lived so that at the very last minute you slide in all tattered, worn saying: “What a ride!!! WHAT A RIDE!!!”

Intermezzo ~ Late Evening Thoughts

For tonight, I’m going to leave myself at the hospital with a broken arm, and various problems with Julius Caesar and Midsummer Night’s Dream unresolved. I wanted to head in a different direction for tonight …

Today I found out that D&D,who have been close (if dramatic) friends for over 10 years, are ending their unending relationship of over 9 years. I would like to say that this came as a complete shock to me, but it did not. For a number of years, they have sounded more like a couple that’s been married for a long time – but didn’t want to be. And their idea of communication seemed more to talk AT each other, rather than TO each other.

I haven’t done this for sometime, but I went back and looked at various quotes that I thought were relevant and realized again – any relationship/friendship takes work. Sometimes a lot of work. The advantage of friendship, as I see it, is that there is a separation inherent in the dynamics.

However, as I learned in my marriage that ended after 15+ years, marriage is not a minimizer but an enlarger. Those charming idiosyncrasies that are so charming when dating – can become major mountains that need to be overcome!!

(but it’s all worth it!!)

“Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.”

“It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise”
–Sara Teasdale

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
–C.S. Lewis

“When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze at the stars for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal!”

“A broken heart is what makes life so wonderful five years later, when you see that special guy in an elevator and he is fat and smoking and saying ‘Long time no see’”
–Phyllis Batelle

“The day you finally decide to love me will be the day after the day I have given up on chasing you.”

“I don’t miss him, I miss who I thought he was.”

” Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated. But if it’s like that, then I want out.”
–Steven Weinberg

“Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.”
–Turkish Proverb

—and as Paul Harvey might have said: Tomorrow, more of the Shakespeare story

Taken (away) By Surprise ~ Late Night Thoughts

The are few moments that one could call totally surprising – but over the last 48 hours I have been blessed with several over them. Those are the moments when you look into a situation and realize 1) you are not in control of it, 2) and that it doesn’t matter if you are or not and that 3) the outcome is going to be amazing – no matter what.

There will (of course) be more on this tomorrow – but for now a collection of thoughts that bring something to the topic.

To bring the dead to life
Is no great magic.
Few are wholly dead:
Blow on a dead man’s embers
And a live flame will start.

Let his forgotten griefs be now,
And now his withered hopes;
Subdue your pen to his handwriting
Until it prove as natural
To sign his name as yours.

Limp as he limped,
Swear by the oaths he swore;
If he wore black, affect the same;
If he had gouty fingers,
Be yours gouty too.

Assemble tokens intimate of him —
A seal, a cloak, a pen:
Around these elements then build
A home familiar to
The greedy revenant.

So grant him life, but reckon
That the grave which housed him
May not be empty now:
You in his spotted garments
Shall yourself lie wrapped.
—Robert Graves

Miracles are unexpected joys, surprising coincidences, unexplainable experiences,
astonishing beauties… absolutely anything that happens in the course of my day, except that at this moment I’m able to recognize its special value.
—Judith Knowlton

Confusion is the state of promise, the fertile void where surprise is
possible again. Confusion is in fact the state we are in, and we should
be wise to cultivate it.
—Paul Goodman

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.
—Boris Pasternak

Life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
— Ashley Montagu

When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home”
— Billy Joel

It’s better to be thought of as a fool and to surprise people once in a while than to be thought of as a brain and to let people down when they need you the most.
—Julie Melanson

When was the last time you wanted to say it all to the right person?
To have it all come out right, to surprise yourself at how together you could be. When was the last time you ever met someone who made you want to give it all to them? I mean give yourself to them. Where you couldn’t express yourself enough – like you wanted to cut off one of your arms to be understood. That’s it – you would cut your head off to have someone understand you. You know how pointless that one is. You know how many times you’ve smashed yourself to bits on the rocks.
—Henry Rollins

Toxic Waste ~ Early Morning Thoughts

There is a fallacy that I have to like everyone. That I have to find some reason or way to enjoy every person that I come in contact with. Aside from being a very pollyanna view of life, it is an impossibility and an impossibility that, if followed, could bring harm to me – to myself as a person. There are just some people that are not going to get along with me or I with them…even though I will try.

There is also another group that can really cause problems – especially with friendships or relationships. These people I refer to simply as toxic. When I open the door for friendship at a level beyond mere acquaintance, I am opening a door for possible hurt, harm or pain. There can be an emotional price for being open, caring and honest. However, toxic “friends” can be among the most damaging, harmful and painful people to deal with. A harmful friend or a toxic friendship can be one of life’s hardest relationship tribulations to forgive and forget. Toxic friends often come back to haunt you for a long time.

Sometimes I know beforehand what they are or can be like. Sometimes, there is a mask that can hide very well what is beneath the surface. And just as a toxic substance barrel can begin to leak – the mask can begin to slip and reveal what’s underneath.

I noted a few types of toxic friends–some of these people were those whose friendship hurt me eventually. Knowing the categories of toxic friends helps to avoid them. However, becoming friends is risky and there is never a guarantee you will not be hurt by a toxic friend. The only way to avoid any kind of hurt or pain in this journey of life, would be to become a hermit and deny all contact with any human at all.

The User:
This person only has friends as long as they can be used for some purpose or goal of their own. This person could be one of the most harmful of toxic friends as the purpose of the friendship doesn’t become easily seen. However, after the purpose has been accomplished, then the reality of what’s happened becomes crystal clear…painfully crystal clear. I’ve seen careers halted and marriages literally destroyed by these people.

The Betrayer:
Nothing hurts more than a friend who betrays you. The betrayal can be as simple as gossip or as deadly as character assassination. It can be tied to broken promises, harmful revelations or taking someone that you thought was yours.

The Control Freak:
The control freak is a friend as long as they are in control. The control freak only wants to help you. With a smile on their face and the right words on their lips, they have the plan that will make it all better. Or, they simply know the better places to eat, live and ways to think. Refuse that help or break that control and find out what toxic control freak friendship really means.

The Judge:
Ever judgmental, ever critical, this friend can erode your self-esteem. The judge is a fault finder. You can rarely do anything completely right with this toxic friend. I sometimes refer to them as people that ‘should’ all over me. You know the type: “Well, what you ‘should’ have done…”

The Promise Breaker:
This person rarely does what he says he will do. If you have a date, the toxic friend is often a no-show. If you have a serious agreement about something, they either will break the agreement or find a way to pretend it never happened. A general lack of dependability makes this person completely toxic and can be very wearing, frustrating. It also, sadly, shows how little regard they have for the person they treat this way.

The Gossip:
The gossip will eventually betray your trust and become a toxic. Gossips are easy to spot so beware friendships with them. I used to joke: “If can’t say anything nice about anyone. then come sit by me…” I don’t anymore. These people are especially toxic when what they don’t know – they make up, and pass off as truth.

The Self-Centered Person:
Someone once wrote:
When the center of the universe is discovered some people are going to be very disappointed to discover they were not it. Self-centered people can’t think of you as they are too busy thinking of themselves. The conversation almost always swings their way – and what they are doing or want to do will take center-stage and be what others are expected to talk about and/or acquiesce to eventually (and for them, the sooner the better).

The Competitor:
The competitor is always looking to be “one up.” Although competitiveness is normal, fun and healthy in friendships, it should never be carried to excess. No one in a friendship should be made to feel “lesser” or “less than important” in a friendship. These are the people who have always done something a little more than you have, have a better ending to the joke you’ve told, takes your date and the brother as well…and probably knows someone who died from the cold you have. These people are toxic.

The Leaner:
The leaner is a very needy friend who clings and may be at your doorstep every day. They usually want all of your time and can become extremely jealous if you begin to have plans that do not include them, or that will cut into the “hold” they have on your time.

Sometimes people we know are combinations of these types and I’m sure there are types I haven’t listed here.

Also, very important, is that these types are toxic only when it is something that is continual, ongoing or never ending. Each of us has at some point been a gossip, leaned far more on someone that we needed to,etc.
But I need to be careful I don’t make a condition out of an incident. While I was working for a major airline, I was appointed to a committee (now there’s fertile ground for toxic!) to deal with an attendance policy over 50 single spaced pages. That’s right – fifty! The reason it had become so bloated? Each time something unusual would happen, it found its way into the policy. Even though no one could remember if it had happened more than once – it happened, therefore it was a condition.

Sometimes I can be friends with these people on a less deep level or a very surface level. This leaves room for them to change – or me for that matter. And with all friends I have, I also work to make allowances as I hope they do with me – for those times when any of us behave in a manner that’s not really how or who we are. I have a saying that I love to remind people of in those moments (I’ve posted it here before): If I can’t accept you at your worst, I have no right to see you at your best.

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
–Veronica A. Shoffstall

Friends(hip) ~ Early Morning Thoughts

As I continued to think about friends and friendships today, I was struck again by the truth of the quote:

True friendship is at once selfish and selfless. And both sides are necessary. Both sides are good.

Otherwise, it becomes something that is one-sided and (as I have learned) very unhealthy. And at times, that has been a problem for me. I have had a tendency (that I still have to battle with) to simply become a conduit for the other person. It’s been a sense of giving them more importance than myself. I would placing their problems, joys, hopes, dreams above my own. I’ll be posting as to how I realized what was going on, and what I’ve had to do to make changes. Tonight, I wanted to stroll through some ideas that have meant a lot to me about friendship and what it means.

The Gift Of Friends

There are days when
bubbling from us comes
the innocent child within,
who giggles at the little things
and wears a silly grin.

There are days when
melancholy comes to
visit for a while;
the mind feels tired, the body weak;
we have no strength to smile.

There are days when
joy abundant
grabs a hold of you and me;
wraps us up in all it’s splendor,
lifts us up and sets us free.

There are days when
sorrow wraps us
in its cloak of grief and fear,
’till our hearts ache to the breaking,
’till our eyes can’t shed a tear.

There are days when
love bestows us
with its wonderment and light;
with its beauty and its mystery,
its power and its might.

And there are days when
life rewards us
and seems to make amends
by granting us a marvelous gift,
the precious gift of Friends.
–Karin Schaefer

The next poem/statements really struck a chord with me the first time I read it. As a series of simple statements – each one if packed with power and truth. I also discovered that if I didn’t agree with something he wrote, if I left it alone – I discovered he was generally right all along…

I am not your friend if. . .
you have to think a long time before you speak to me!

i am not your friend if. . .
my presence ever makes you feel uncomfortable!

i am not your friend if. . .
you have to continually say sorry for everything you don’t do!

i am not your friend if. . .
you hesitate to ask me for favors!

i am not your friend if. . .
you think i would not be curious to know your new philosophy of life!

i am not your friend if. . .
you go by what i say and do not understand what i don’t say!

i am not your friend if. . .
you think that listening to your dreams would put me to sleep!

i am not your friend if. . .
you think that seeing you in pain, would not bring a tear to me!

i am not your friend if. . .
you don’t realize how your smile brightens up my day!

i am not your friend if. . .
you would rather keep quiet when you really wanna to talk!

i am not your friend if. . .
you hesitate to ask me to stay back when you think we should be together!
–attributed to a Serbian freedom fighter

And for the final thought in this post, a very short poem that absolutely made a difference in MY outlook the first time I read it. But then – being a terminal romantic (we’re the ones that pat the sandwich after we make it – remember?) it would speak to me in many different levels.

Lost Treasures

They told me

that to truly find something,
you must first lose it.

So I lost myself,
and what I found was

They were right.
–H. Lamb

–more tomorrow

Friendship~Early Morning Thoughts

This actually started a couple of weeks ago. I had posted about meeting someone who I thought might become a very good friend. Sadly, that appears not to be. After a couple of further conversations, a few emails and a couple of e-cards. I was told on night when I called: “I need to (………), I’ll call you later tonight.” That was over a week and a half ago. I’m sure there are reasons, but later in this post you’ll see what I’m talking about.

And, of course, no week would be complete without D&D putting strain on everything called friendship in their own inimitable style. This, of course, brought flooding back the problems with ZZ and what he termed friendship…or, it’s lack.

Friendship is incredibly important in life – and I’m struck how close friendship can be to the love we all seem to seek. After all, doesn’t friendship combine trust, support, communication, a sense of loyalty as well as understanding. Perhaps that’s why a very wise man once said: best friends often make the best lovers.

I remember when I was young, and went somewhere – a sleepover, a long weekend trek with friends…and while it was fun while gone, there was an incredible sense of “home” upon returning. That’s what I want my friendships to be.

I want to go out in the world and try to “slay the dragons” or at least, get something accomplished. Along the way I’m going to have the ups and downs, joys and sadness. But when I connect with a friend I need the sense of “home.” Mentally kicking off shoes, a sense of relief or a sense of having a comfortable situation. But friendships have to be maintained (sounds like a love relationship doesn’t it!). It requires contact, being together and a deep sense of understanding. However, sometimes friends because of things they can not control – drift somewhat apart. But maintaining contact is incredibly important at those times.

Somewhere I read that friendships end for one or a combination of three reasons:

  • Unexpressed expectations
  • Undelivered communication
  • thwarted attention

I’m going to want to think about this for awhile before I post more on those three items, but I wanted to let you know where my mind was heading. And yes, my heart is filling with sadness as I think about what is going on and/or has gone on. I spent much of this afternoon looking back on people I’ve known and lost – friendships I’ve tried for and lost. (to say nothing of some seriously damaged/damaging relationships.)

Of course, a friendship based on manipulation is not a friendship at all. True friends do not do that to each other, or to those around them. In his book “The Friendship Factor” author Alan Loy McGinnis talks about the things that can make up a manipulative friendship: always needing to be needed, always having to take charge, always appearing to be weak and pitiful to gain control over another individual.

And more and more, I’m beginning to look at those I consider standard bearers of great friendships (even though some may be lovers, they strike me as being incredibly good friends as well). I consider Steve-Warren (Our View on Superior) and, of course, Yen and Jesse (Two Lucky People) as almost standard bearers of what a deep best friend situation should be. And those I regard as personal friends? There’s K (I value and cherish his friendship) who always greets me with such warmth and honesty, I can do nothing be reply in kind. There’s SGB who (as I’ve said before) always makes me feel incredibly sensual – usually when I look my worst. And there’s EW with whom I’m renewing a friendship that had suffered a lengthy separation. And of course dear D who said of friendship in an email to me: sometimes friends say things that HAVE to be said, even though the other person does not want to hear it. Hopefully, this can be done in a loving, compassionate way that helps rather than hurts.

So, no my life isn’t full of “sturm und drang.” But, I’m willing to share where my mind is headed … sometimes on it’s own!

–more on this tomorrow

Be A Grape – Not A Raisin ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Yesterday as I was around various groups of people (at/on the bus -stores-waiting for a friend to get out of work) I was struck by the various attitudes and behaviors. I realized how much people seemed beat down, giving up and incredibly unhappy with themselves and the world around them.

It’s not hard to understand. A simple look at the news that besieges us almost on a minute by minute basis is far from anything that allows time to digest, process and deal with in a way which creates a safe haven to allow life and joy to work through all that is out there.

And much of it seems to create even more divisions than are already there. An NBA star announces he’s gay, another NBA star says he hates gays; someone announces their candidacy for public office, others immediately announce why that person is unfit for public office. Hundreds get trapped on airplanes frozen to runways for hours. And it seems so much that should be harmless suddenly becomes deadly – peanut butter, who would have thought? And fear can grip like a viper and spread its deadly poison.

When I had given up all hope and had lost the meaning of even living…I too felt that nothing matter, there was nothing to go on for and certainly nothing that I could/would be able to do.

In making the journey back from the edge of nothingness, I have my return to childlike enthusiasm, hope, joy and personal responsibility.

I have more on this topic, but let me state as I have in previous posts – I have no intention of advocating a “Pollyanna” outlook on life (I have always wanted to slap her when either reading the book, or choking my way through the movie). Nor do I advocate the “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better” school of thought advocated by Emil Coue. Mine is not a perfect journey, but a personal journey.

For now, I have gathered some quotes that reflect directly on what has made differences in my life – and those around.

So many people are using up their precious moments of life striving for a bigger house, newer car, college for the kids, and many additional outer expressions of the so-called necessities of life. How many moms and dads are overwhelmed just trying to keep up with their notions of what is called for to be a successful family? Being too busy trying to manage a career and a family and not having fun and joy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some people born as ripe, plump grapes have become dried up old prunes. Why be a raisin when you can be filled with juice?
–Stan Smith

Nothing is lost upon a man who is bent upon growth; nothing wasted on one who is always preparing for … life by keeping eyes, mind and heart open to nature, men, books, experience … and what he gathers serves him at unexpected moments in unforeseen ways.

The work of an individual still remains the spark that moves mankind forward…
–Igor Sikorsky

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked; it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
–Franz Kafka

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. His every thought is allied with power and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome. Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force. Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
–Carl Jung

That which we are, we are, and if we are ever to be any better, now is the time to begin.
–Lord Alfred Tennyson

When you have to make a choice, and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.
–William James

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You cannot cross a chasm in two small jumps.
–Lloyd George

Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
–Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.
–Thomas a Kempis

And remember, we all stumble, every one of us .This is why it is good to go hand in hand.
–E. K. Brough

Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves.
–Carl Jung

Often, people try to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.

The way it actually works is the reverse. You must find out who you really are, then do what you need to do in order to have what you want.”
–Margaret Young

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
–Mark Twain

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
–Elbert Hubbard

Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.
–Chinese Proverb

The whole purpose of the universe is unerringly aimed at one thing – you.
–Walt Whitman

Knowing others is wisdom; knowing the self is enlightenment.
–Tao Te Ching

Everyone stumbles over the truth from time to time, but most people pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing ever happened.
–Sir Winston Churchill

He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.

Computers are useless. they can only give you answers.
–Pablo Picasso

Be not afraid of changing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
–Chinese Proverb

A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
–George Bernard Shaw

Only those who risk going too far can know how far they can go.

The freedom to fail is vital if you are going to succeed.
–Micheal Korda

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life away in fruitless efforts.
–Samuel Johnson

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month — get married.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
–Chinese proverb

Friendship-Integrity ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Last night (2.9) I went out to dinner with someone I had never met, other than through email and a couple of phone calls. Within the correspondence, it seemed very logical and highly likely this person could be a very good friend.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

Whenever we talked by mail or phone, the flow of conversation seemed easy, natural – and he was a very easy person to share with (which is difficult sometimes for me to do). We had a delightful dinner in a restaurant that was a very good lesson to me on not judging a book by its cover. As long as I have lived here, I have passed by this place many, many times. It appears to be a very small unprepossessing establishment perhaps of the Tex-Mex variety of food. What a surprise to discover that it actually is a much larger restaurant than it appears – with a beautiful garden/patio area to eat in.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
“The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.”

As much as I enjoy people, I have to admit being somewhat uneasy in situations that have no definitive outcome…especially one -on-one. But I am glad to add also that this person is the type that can put you completely at ease. We laughed, shared, simply chatted and I felt, enjoyed each others company. I have others friends that can be somewhat wearing after awhile as their needs often surpass what I am able to offer. And yet – that is also to me what friendship is all about. I like to be able to believe in people and trust them.

Do u know the relation between two eyes? They blink together,They move together, They cry together, They see things together and They sleep together.But Still They never See Each Other that’s Friendship”.And about true frds, True frnd understands wen u say I FORGET. Waits 4ever wen u say JUST A MIN. Stays with u wen u say LEAVE ME ALONE & Opens the heart even b4 u knock.
Hope u get the meaning of Friendship.
–anonymous (
I have left this quote exactly as it was written-it expresses what I felt so well)

I also ran across a very scholarly article about Socrates who valued friendship “more than gold” and Aristotle who felt that friendship was necessary for life. According to Aristotle, true friends always wish the best for each other. These friends take time, patience and commitment.

Plato felt that true friends belong to each other, and that sense of belonging is what distinguishes friendship from all other relationships.

Interestingly they both believed we have to learn how to be friends – we don’t automatically know what it takes to be a good friend – and it can be life-time project. And here was a surprise-I found out that felt there was a connection between being good at friendship and a life committed to justice.

Plato says that “it is impossible for those who do an injustice and those who suffer it to be friends.”

Does this mean there is a connection between friendship, virtue and integrity? They had a line of reasoning that suggested exactly that. If wicked people habitually do wicked things, their friendships are…inherently unstable and shallow based on pleasure or utility.

Those who are good, on the other hand, orient their lives around virtue, and they continue to do good things they are prime candidates for friendship.

If indeed that is the case, then I want to hang onto childlike enthusiasm, friendship and integrity all the more.

more on this later

Birthdays and Friendship ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Today was an absolutely wonderful day. I spent my birthday with D&D, two of my closest real life friends here. We had some food, a lot of fun – and a couple of not-so-gentle libations. It was a day of laughter, sharing and being alive. I found these two thoughts about friendship – and wanted to pass these on to you as well.

Friendship isn’t always easily described. The Eskimos, they say, have a hundred different words for snow. Unfortunately, the English language isn’t quite as innovative, though it has vast opportunities to differentiate meaning. Certainly, Love is one of those opportunities. And so, too, is Friendship.

Instead of different words, however, we’re stuck with simple adjectives. Close friend. Best friend. Childhood friend. Intimate friend. Trusted friend. Beloved friend. But whether you use adjectives or different words, few could deny the nearly infinite meaning in such a simple word.

Friends are special people. We can’t pick our family, and we’re sorely limited in the number of them at any rate. Society and mores (and often our own conscience) dictate we select a single mate. But our friends can be as diverse and infinite as the adjectives we choose. Our friends, in a very real sense, reflect the choices we make in life.

I found this poem about Internet friends – I think it applies FAR beyond the poets original intent ~

Two Souls – One Voice

although two souls are meeting
there is but one voice
capturing the moment
captivating and controlling
the thoughts, actions, words
leading the way for conscious
desire and decisive emotion

stories and daily goings- on
are frequently passed
between the one voice
and the intermixed beings
creating a warm happiness
a sense of belonging
an aura of completeness
a comfortable existence

time, a distant memory
fading in and fading out,
its power and autonomy fall
on blissfully ignorant,
yet distinctly aware,
ears – focused and true

with the quantity
of well spent hours
adding up and summarizing
the feelings and beliefs
shared and opposed,
comes an ability
to confide and uphold
moments, eternities
abundant with understanding.

butterfly pictures from another dear friend K