A Blessing for Friendship
Friendship is the place where our hearts are touched
and moved. Moved toward some depth of feeling
and insight. Moved toward some new courage ushering
me closer to a risk that has been waiting for me.
My friend remembers himself in my presence,
assuring me that distractions will be minimal.
My friend remembers me, and in this collective
remembering, I am wrapped in belonging.
The fear of remembering myself peels away.
I, once again, find residence in my own soul.
Fear’s grip begins to atrophy and I offer a welcome
to my brokenness. Shame’s relentless pounding is
silenced as his compassionate gaze softens my
vision of my inevitable imperfections. An unnecessary
striving finds a temporary respite in his company.
I risk giving a voice to some personal triumph.
I don’t hear an accusation of excessive boastfulness.
I don’t see down-trodden eyes suggesting some
self-diminishment on behalf of the listener. I sense
no wave of envy that would have a man stepping
away. I don’t understand. Where is the chilling
wind of competition measuring one man against
the other? There is only the celebratory gaze
of my friend, blessing my good fortune.
I come to understand why the ancient sage referred
to Philia, or friendship, as the highest of all virtues.
It is about being accompanied. It is that company
I return to after succumbing to some seduction to
to be excessively appropriate, or an eagerness to
impress. In this friendship, I’ve come to know home.