That messy thing with overgrown weeds and a fruit sweet enough that you risk the thorns.
It’s not a linear thing.
Friends don’t just grow straight – one day reaching their final height.
Friends intersect and intervene.
They orbit out and orbit back in.
And in some way, some secret way that I’m not sure any of us knows how to say, friends hold a piece of who we are.
Each of them.
They do not own it.
They do not own a piece of us – hiding it somewhere in the depths of their night stand.
No, rather, I think we may remember a piece of ourselves in our friends. This is especially true in older friends. They are a unique mirror to look into. For when with an old companion it is common to act, and talk, and laugh in a way that perhaps tells us more about ourself than we thought possible.
And so we should listen to our friends. Not merely waiting for what they say but why they say it. Our friends ask things of us based on who we have been for them. And they withhold things depending on what we have not given them in the past.
You do this. I do this.
Each of us notches our own space in the groove of friendship.
We engage on certain topics. We avoid certain issues.
And for some friends, we are actually honest. We speak not just what we feel but the things we’re scared to feel – the things that make us afraid. We listen not just with our ears but with our hands, our eyes, and our mind.
We’re there. And so are they. And that is something in a world full of people not there. Because we don’t have to be anymore. We can do something without being something.
Find friends that make a being out of you. The friends that simply do are common. They are loud and constant and like a cheap scotch – they burn us even as we feel the warmth.
But the friends that force you to be – that make you endure the stillness, these are the sincere ones.
These are the ones that make the mystery feel possible.