Reflections: Friendship

 

 

Faith, hope and Reflection

Faith, hope and Reflection

Friendship:   Lend me your Fears

© 2010  raymond alexander kukkee

“ ‘Tis within the realm of both our blessings and our incompetence to hurt another  life,  or love, cherish, and befriend a fool to happily lend a hand with time,  ‘ere he is gone, vanished  forever into the mist”.

Friends. We choose them,  and sometimes they choose us, but what is to come of the future if no action is taken to perpetuate friendship?

Let us be honest.    We sometimes face the unnerving possibility that we shall have no idea what to say to old  friends when we find  we are about to see them again,   which incidents will be plucked from the past,  or for that matter,  what we may  reasonably say long after  they have disappeared.   Sadly, with time and neglect, friendship,  if allowed, can become  a fleeting, distant memory.   Why are some friendships so  proudly cherished and others forgotten entirely?

Perhaps there is only one certainty.  To know good friends well is to understand yourself better, for they are generous souls entwined in your life,  approved by the sub-conscious to  explore the similarities  and complexity of your persona and physical journey.

Where else may one seek the past, but within the journals of the mind of a friend?   Where do happiness, wonderful memories and just answers truly dwell?  Where  can fear, tragedy and sadness  exist,  be safely treasured and  acknowledged  with clarity and understanding,  but  within the wisdom often found in long-time  friends?  Do we see ourselves reflected in old photographs of our friends?

Portraits of unnamed friends,  faces of many souls from the past, do exist in old photograph albums so blessed.  I know each  of their faces  when I see them.  Perhaps offering comments upon their souls and their past is paramount to raising the spectre of my own, but each photograph initiates an unequaled, unique, and treasured  moment of reflection.

There were  boys I grew up with, working and fishing and chasing about in  summer hay fields for amusement. We went to school, played baseball and dangerously carved  our initials into the trunks of swaying   trees -not at the bottom,  but precariously close to the  top only because we were brave and foolish enough to   do so.    We laboured in the hot sun, collecting bales on creaking wagons, and in autumn, stood sheaves of golden-coloured oats in long, ragged and  pointed rows to ripen.  Chasing stubborn cattle  through forests and stinging  nettle-filled swamps, we discovered the value of working together,  stamina and the pain of raised,  burning   welts.  Instead of seeking medical assistance, we  swam in  taboo, warm, deep water of farm ponds  for  relief equally  from the   nettles, stifling mid- August  heat, and  evening chores.

I learned the joy and  art of swimming,  curiously, not splashing about up on the surface,  as recommended by adults,   but underwater, holding my breath,  cruising along contentedly  just under the surface,  eyes wide open.   What does the childhood revelation of swimming have to do with friendship?   We  found out accidentally.   One of the boys slipped into deep water and  almost drowned, but for the fact that most boys learn to swim. Clearly everything in life has purpose.

I discovered many years later  that the same boy could not  recall that incident.   Should a friendship be rescinded for lack of recall or acknowledgment?     He did not remember,  but  I never forgot diving beneath his skinny,  flailing arms and  standing underwater in the sticky, knee-deep  bottom mud to  push  him, desperately  choking,  up to the surface and back to safety.  What are friends for?  We could not acknowledge that incident, we never again chanced swimming  in that distinctly unfriendly new pond, and never spoke of it.

In life, boys soon discover they have far  more important missions impossible assigned to them.  Hormones invaded  idyllic Tom Sawyer lives, creating a surprising  interest in  girls -who were as  yet unnoticed and awkward-–but somehow  friends even if  unacknowledged .

One and all, collectively stamped with an era of giddy correctness,  giggles and  manners, the girls  were wise  enough to avoid  swimming in the company of  daring boys or  in dangerous ponds.   Years later, without exception, the same girls offer gentle smiles and almost inexplicable happiness   upon seeing old friends at any chance meeting.  We were clearly  friends,  and with much mutual respect, remain so.

How can those  stalwart, seemingly  eternal and beautiful  friendships of trial and trust compare to fleeting relationships born  today, where friendship might  be defined by two drinks in a bar, and discarded thoughtlessly like last year’s cell phone  the morning after a cheap hookup?  Comparison is difficult, if impossible.

In observation, why do  friendships now appear to  lack depth, understanding, and  fragment so easily?   Has  the concept of true friendship and commitment become socially abnormal, quaint, and inappropriate, or has individualism and self-importance taken it’s place?

It seems logical that nothing, including social trends or  time itself, should stand in the way of  friendship, but will the genuine value and social mechanism of friendship eventually disappear?   In our ever-increasingly disconnected and individualistic  social structure, each reader is encouraged to evaluate, refresh,  and acknowledge the relationship of  their own lives to those surrounding them.  Comfort may be found in the fact that although friendship itself  may ultimately be reduced to E-mail,  denial,  failed memory, or in the extreme,  relegated to distant mists of the future,  the intertwining of souls shall never cease.

The survival of individual friendships,  families,  societies, and  nations –indeed, aspects of the international nature of the world itself -depend upon  solid friendship and commitment  in spite of incident,  perceived difficulties, or  fear encountered in times of  horrific  tragedy.

As for me,   I shall continue to aspire to be a committed  friend.  To my treasured friends, past, present  and future,   lend me your  fears,  uncertainty, dreams and memories,  and  I shall help you carry them into eternity.

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Is that Incoming I hear? (834)

2 thoughts on “Reflections: Friendship

  1. … “lend me your fears, uncertainty, dreams and memories, and I shall help you carry them into eternity”…

    Raymond, have I told you enough how much you mean to me, my friend? Love you tons. You’ve always been (since we’ve met online, at least) and will always be one of my most treasured friends. Praise God for you, Raymond.

    • Awe, you too, Mandy, you’re such a loyal, good friend. I treasure you too! Praise God for such good friends. Children and wonderful friends are the jewels in our lives. I am proud to call you my friend… ~”:)

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