Category Archives: friends

Roomie

Remember that night you were coming home late

And I stood up at the window in the door while you were putting your key in the lock?

You screamed blue murder and alarmed the neighbours

While I crossed my legs and we laughed til our bellies ached.

 

 

Remember that night I came home to an unexpected correspondance;

I fell to my knees at your door and wept?

You too wore out knees and tissues

While I grieved and doubted and raged, we sobbed til our throats were raw.

 

 

Remember I used to leave ends of old baguette on the kitchen counter

Like a little present unasked for but not entirely unexpected?

You’d smile and leave it there til I’d remember what I’d done

And we’d laugh and sit down to eat your diet soup without bread while the cat scratched at our jeans.

 

 

Remember we refused to get a television because we were oh so cultured darling,

And we put your PC in the corner out of the way, because there was nowhere else for it?

You’d casually switch it on, slip a DVD in the drive and with a sideward glance at my nod

We’d watch Friends back to back til bedtime.

 

 

Remembered vignettes of a shared life, a witnessed life, a different life;

Moving in, moving out, moving on…

Things change, memories make it worthwhile

But now I have to do all the dishes.

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Filed under change, friends, home, humour, poetry, story

On being not single.

Image

Ah, Valentine’s Day… The day on which we (I?) make jokes about how difficult it was to open our front door with all the cards and flowers in the way.  Otherwise could be known as “Marmite Day”… You either love it or hate it.

Facebook testifies to this fact.

From schmushy declarations of love, to boastful photographs of “oh-gosh-I’m-sooo-surprised-by-this-bouquet-of-flowers-aren’t-I-sooo-blessed?”, to bible verses about love and to downright “fnuh”, the 14 February has got people status-updating to the max.

*     *     *

One of my life’s most creative and romantic gestures (thus far, I hasten to add!) was to make a handmade story book of high school friends who became college sweethearts.  I poured my heart into it and it took weeks.  After the then-current-day page of our love story, I marked “To be continued…”.  When I gave the gift, my sweetheart thumbed through the pages after “To be continued…”, smiled and said “Oh good, there are lots of pages still to come.”  *Sigh*  Perfect!

Except two months later it was all over.

Love is a risk.

*     *     *

Not so long ago, I lived in a house with two other girls.  A little while after we moved in together, one housemate began a dating relationship.  What struck me about the dynamic of that this time round, was that while we two single housemates were feeling left out of the “couples”, my newly “dating-someone” housemate was feeling left out of being single.

Over the next months, she and her boyfriend went through millions of ups and downs and ins and outs on the journey of working out if they could build a life together.  They eventually tied the knot and are now facing the rest of life’s challenging adventures together as husband and wife.  We got to be part of that as the three of us housemates honestly walked the path of our changing circumstances together.

Love is a risk.

*     *     *

I never thought I’d be one to advocate for the American way of things, but if my friend and colleague is a good example of the American take on all this, then do it their way…

She made “Valentines” for the members of her choir : little red boxes containing lots of little items each related to some aspect of love.  I can’t remember exactly, but like “a poem, to read and share”, “a piece of ribbon to bring together the ones you love”, “a plaster, to remind you that broken hearts heal” things like that.  She’s determined to help them think differently about Valentine’s Day today.

She also invited me around to share in their new family tradition of Valentine’s Chocolate Fondue complete with red napkins and heart-embellished fondue forks.  When its shared with family and friends, there’s no need to be single when you can be together.

*     *     *

Love is a risk and if Valentine’s Day can be a way to celebrate the fact that the risk is worth taking and that we are not alone in any part of that, then I’m up for that.

And chocolate fondue.

But perhaps there’s no need to boast about your PERFECT life on Facebook…??

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Filed under dating, friends, heart, love, perspective, relationships, singleness

Apology

Four friends in a prayer square – all linked in different capacities and depths, but linked all the same.  One trusted the others because of the others.

They were beautiful, these four girls – beautiful with a vulnerability that came and went as they struggled with fear, inadequacy, guilt, desire…  Thoughts and feelings both expected and unexpected in women.  Beautiful with a depth of honesty not many shared and they shared with few others.  Beautiful.

And I was one of them.  Valued and loved, heard and known, seen and unseen.  I don’t think its arrogance to say we were beautiful – beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I hold them in my ‘I’.

Its been a while since these four met – or at least since this one met with those three.  Much has happened, continues to happen, while I – removed from them – have happenings of my own that wrap me up in myself.  Not so pretty.

Guilt and I are not friends – I will not have coffee with him, nor will I lie with him, not even hold hands.  Though sometimes we bump into each other – a fleeting glance that makes me sad.  Sorrowful until I remember my true friend Forgiveness, also known as Love, Truth, Jesus.

Forgive me, friends, for what I have left unknown, unacknowledged, unheard, unmet, unheld…and come, there are many days to tell, much dreaming to do, old demons to face and new life to meet.

(December 2008)

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Filed under beauty, friends, gospel, relationships, women

God’s Extravagant Beauty

I’ve been reading Surprised By Hope by Tom Wright with a friend recently.  If I ever get round to it, I’ll share some reflections from it.  But, that book and some other chats and ruminations have encouraged me muchly to rediscover and re-revel in some of the ways in which God has made this whole creation something incredibly extravagantly beautiful.

The following video is of a heart-breakingly beautiful piece of music on an instrument I’ve always wanted to play… And all the better as it is performed by my heart-breakingly beautiful friend

Hypnosis (you’ll have to download it in order to watch – worth every single 78MB)

Enjoy, friends…

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Filed under beauty, friends, music

What is friendship?

A while ago I spent an evening with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while, just hanging out and chatting.  She was sharing with me that she’d been thinking recently about friendship.  What makes a good friend?  What makes ME a good friend?

The conversation has been playing on my mind ever since and a couple of stories have come to mind…

Number one… In my second year of uni, I shared a house with a few girls, one of whom I was particularly close to and another of which particularly did my head in!  Unfortunately, my annoyance with the latter was thinly veiled and the former called me out on it.  At the time it was incredibly painful, being confronted with my own ugly heart, but yet I count it as an heroic act of true friendship as my friend fought – not only for my heart, but also for the wellbeing of the other friend.  The end result was a lesson learned and an enduring sense of love and care towards both housemates!

Number two… A much more ‘normal’ example, fewer tears and less glamour… An old school friend who I’d sort of lost touch with during uni who got back in touch with me, took hold of our friendship and hasn’t let go.  Despite my rubbish contact-keeping, my hopeless text replying and my laziness in face of organising a social life during some serious change and after organising a week of meetings, this friend has pursued me and taught me the importance of intentional time spending.  Not just benefitting her, but mostly keeping me sane and keeping my head firmly out of my backside.  Now this friend has just become a mummy and its my turn to support her in the midst of serious life-change… and its a pleasure.

Number three is not so much a story as a general… eh… ‘smell’.  I have another friend who I met at uni.  We’re maybe not the best at keeping in contact sometimes, but things never change – I know that wherever or whenever we hang out, that she’ll always be someone who feels like home: someone who knows me and accepts me in all my quirks, someone who’ll make me laugh, laugh at me and with me… Its great to feel safe with her – not because she won’t ever say anything hard, but because she’s always honest and real about me and about herself and that is precious.  Plus, when she says she’ll do something – whether its visit or pray or climb a mountain – she does it.

What about you?  What stories do you have that define friendship for you…?

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Perfect Timing

So, this afternoon I ended up having to have quite a difficult conversation with someone. Can’t go into too much detail, but things about the conversation had exhausted me, unsettled me and gave me some reasons to feel fearful enough to want to put some things in place to protect myself.

There I am, sitting in my car, playing it all over in my head, worrying about stuff and wanting to crawl into bed to escape, my finger hovering over my phone wondering who I could call. I’m feeling weighed down, like I just can’t face the people-work I have to do tonight, wishing that the person who was meant to call me back had called… Next thing my phone rings. It just comes up as a number (as I recently lost my phone in an unfortunate moment), so I think its maybe the phone call I’d been waiting for.

But no… it was my long-lost American friend. We haven’t spoken in maybe over a year – the only contact having been a series of ‘so-sorry-its-been-so-long’ Facebook messages about 2 months ago. There was no conceivable reason she should phone. And, to be honest my heart kinda sank because I was far from the appropriate mood for catch-up chat.

“Hi” she says, “How are you?”
I give a slight groan and think about how to answer that…
images2“Only its just…” she continues, “…I just very suddenly out of nowhere felt like I needed to call you. Like, not that I should call you someday, but that I should call you, like NOW. URGENTLY. Are you okay?”

My answer flowed out in grateful tears.

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Filed under fear, friends, God, grace, story

The Rise and Fall of Rory Gilmore

Recently, I made it to the end of my 365 blog of things to be thankful for and tonight heralds the end to yet another chapter of my life in this past year.  Just over a year ago, I embarked upon a journey to Stars Hollow, home of the American TV series of “The Gilmore Girls”.

Tonight I watched the finale.

It has been quite a journey of ups and downs, thrills and spills and – well, quite frankly – its been an on-going obsession.  Don’t worry this blogpost does not contain any spoilers – I nearly fell out with my housemate over my OCD-level of determination not to hear even a scrap of information that might spoil the end of the 7 season, 42 disc, 154 epoisode, 6160 minutes of my favouritest pick-me-up television EVER. 

EVER.

I don’t know how to sum up just how much I loved-slash-hated-slash-loved-to-hate-and-hated-to-love these 40 minute-long escapes into small town America, but, I couldn’t let this rollercoaster of emotions end without a brief word about the ride.

Numerous conversations about the witty cynicism, the will-they-won’t-they, the how-could-she/he-do-that?s…  Several late nights and lazy weekends (I think my record was 10am til 7pm only breaking to shower and eat).  Heck, I even saw a book shop in Paris and my first thought was that Rory would love it.

I know it sounds crazy, but let me have just this one obsession?  Many others are addicted to far more technicoloured dream-series than this.  And this one… This one is worth it.

My only regret is that now that I have lived it, I can never again watch with fresh eyes.

This is not ‘goodbye’, Rory.  Its just ‘See you later’…

See you later.

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Filed under friends, happiness is, humour, love, random, story