I've been thinking about friendship lately.
I know you get all weirded out when I think, so I'll try to be sensitive. No major, bizarre leaps, I promise or I hope anyway.
I belong to a few online communities. Shoutlife, Facebook, MySpace, Shelfari, Linked In and a couple of writing groups. You could say I'm uberconnected or overconnected. Within the last few days I have accepted friendship from a young man who invited several people with the same name to be his friends. After looking at his profile I hesitated for a second. After all, what he said and what he stated as beliefs, are contrary to me and mine. But these differences don't frighten me, or challenge me beyond my need to continually open my heart to people who need a dose of love and grace. Another new friend lives in my state. Others come and go with comments and slices of connection in this huge worldwide "friend-net."
I consider some of my critique partners very close friends. One is so close that we share far more than writing. I'll visit her for the fourth time in a few weeks. She and her family ushered in the new year with us. I would never have met her without this writing season in my life. Nor would my kids know their "crazy cousins from up north."
I spent a few hours with a few "past" (not going to use the world old) friends this weekend. Three women who have at one time been close. One I spent months phone praying with every morning before we left for work. Another I grieved with over several lifequakes. The third was a salt sister, neither of us could make it through a Sunday without tears. But each of these friends have moved on, changed churches and slipped out of my daily or weekly life. Yet I love each of these women and bear their fingerprints upon my heart.
Complexity in pure simplicity. Friendship. Thank you, friends.