thoughts on reading….

canadian blog awards

Winner GLBT category

I hope this grey November,

we are experiencing,

finds you all well,

and who knows,

perhaps your part of the world,

is not awash in grey.

Grey is a colour,

I am familiar with,

lots of grey in,

a city Winter,

I don’t relish it,

but,

I do know it.

I am in,

a very serious,

mood,

mode,

of late,

pensive,

not too social,

not anti-social,

but, more quiet like.

I have been reading,

Montaigne,

On Friendship,

just finished it,

I’m glad I read it,

I found that lots of it,

was,

right on.

I was equally put off,

by much of it,

Montaigne,

although a deep thinker,

is a man of his era,

women are pretty much,

silly ornamental play things,

not even close to being equals.

This bugs me,

as a woman,

it’s bugs me even more,

as a woman who has known,

deep friendship with men.

In order to enjoy,

and,

benefit from these books,

written by great thinkers,

hundreds of years ago,

one needs to push that aside,

that’s ok,

I’m used to it,

as a woman,

as a gay woman,

even more.

Change the genders,

ignore gender,

whatever,

it can be done.

I have often quoted Montaigne,

on friendship,

Because it was him: because it was me,

this describes so well,

the inexplicable chemistry of friendship,

in it’s mysteriousness,

it is much like romantic love.

Why two people,

can be perfect for each other,

‘on paper’

and,

have absolutely nothing,

to say to each other,

and in some cases,

actually feel repulsion,

and,

with others,

instant,

click.

Mysterious.

Friendship,

is a deep relationship,

not something light,

and frivolous,

although it may include fun,

mostly.

it is about dropping one’s masks,

trusting to be,

wholly,

yourself,

without fear of rejection,

judgement,

this is a rare occurrence,

some people,

I am certain of this,

never experience it,

perhaps it is a lack of luck,

or of,

putting their faith in unworthy people,

or an inability,

to open themselves up,

to another.

Perhaps, this too is mysterious.

Friendship,

while mutually beneficial,

is in and of itself,

giving,

not counting,

in order for it to be,

true, deep,

it must be surrounded by,

a leap of faith bubble,

absolute trust,

nothing can bring,

the level of joy,

that friendship can,

nothing can bring us,

greater pain,

when trust is broken.

Nothing.

We often use the word friend,

when what we mean is,

acquaintance,

colleague,

comrade,

even

Moreover what we normally call friends and friendship are no more than acquaintance and familiar relationships bound by some chance or suitability, by means of which our souls support each other.

he goes on to say:

In the friendship which I am talking about, souls are mingled and confounded in so universal a blending that they efface the seam which joins them together so that it cannot be found. If you press me to say why I loved him, I feel that it cannot be expressed except by replying: “Because it was him: because i was me.” Meditating this union there was, beyond all that I can say specifically about it, some inexplicable force of destiny- ¬†Michel de Montaigne, On Friendship, Penguin Great Ideas, pages 9-10

beautiful, heartfelt,

but,

there is more,

All the arguments in the world have no power to dislodge me from the certainty which I have of the intentions and decisions of my friend. Not one of his actions could be set before me-no matter what it looked like-without my immediately discovering it’s motive. page 12

the friendship of Montaigne and La Boetie,

is a rare one,

most cannot count themselves as lucky.

The loss of his friend after only a few years,

makes it,

perhaps,

worse,

I merely drag wearily on. The very pleasures which are proffered me do not console me: they redouble my sorrow at his loss. In everything we were halves: I feel I am stealing his share from him- page 19

After I finished reading,

this small book,

I went through my bookshelves,

because I wanted more,

on friendship,

and I came upon,

a small book of essays by Emerson,

one of the essays,

is entitled,

simply,

Friendship.

Emerson is a dour old,

New Englander,

but,

his words are filled with truth.

I hate the prostitution of the name of friendship to signify modish and worldly alliances- Friendship, page 45 of Self-Reliance And Other Essays

Friendship is as important to Emerson as to Montaigne,

his view is not however of two souls in perfect harmony,

Friendship requires that rare and mean betwixt likeness and unlikeness, that piques each with the presence of power and of consent in the other party. Let me be alone to the end of the world, rather than that my friend should overstep, by a word or a look, his real sympathy. I am equally balked by antagonism and by compliance. Let him not cease for an instant to be himself …better be a nettle in the side of your friend than be his echo-page 47

The types of friendship,

Montaigne and Emerson,

experience,

are different,

but,

both are filled with love, respect, and genuine affection.

I have experienced both in my life,

both are nourishing,

satisfying,

both make life worth living.

These are my thoughts,

on the reading of these two great works.

They are worth the time,

the mental gymnastics required.

Just wanted to share with you all,

what sticks out,

for me,

after a first reading.

Great ideas,

a good choice,

for a grey November,

when there is time,

for reflection and grief processing.

Grief over lost friendship,

is a long process,

well,

it is for me.

I take time to digest things,

always been slow that way.

I imagine some,

of you,

maybe be thinking,

enough time has passed,

move on BB,

I get that,

I also get that people,

think,

and have even said,

not in a mean way,

that losing a friend,

can’t be compared to losing,

family.

At first,

this hurt me,

a little,

it felt a tad,

inconsiderate,

clueless,

but,

on reflection,

I feel,

that perhaps,

they have simply never experienced that,

level of friendship.

I am fortunate,

I have,

I do.

Later girls,

BB