The rains have finally come to cool us down. This night is quiet and very dark. A type of darkness that has become a rarity in our modern light-filled world. As has the deep silence. And perhaps because I've found myself alone on such a night my thoughts have turned inward. Tonight I am without the need to sort through the seemingly ever-present confusions and disappointments of our often brutish modern world. I have considered friendship instead.

Knowing the preciousness of friendship, the truth of it's rarity, has been a long time coming to me.  To understand another.  To be understood.  Love is such a simple thing despite how complicated our emotions become when the monkey mind tries to have its way with the heart.

Few things are as difficult as hurt from a friend, someone you've let in your heart.  The great poet Edna St Vincent Millay writes...I have loved you, even in the houses of the rich, I have loved you... When betrayed by a friend at the mercy of these many houses it is easy to think if I had not allowed such closeness I would not have been hurt.  In that moment, if we're truly fortunate, another friend will be there to say:  maybe they were not the friend you hoped for today but tomorrow they may be.

And worse, far far worse, than the disappointment a friend may bring would be my own betrayal of a friend. I have done this dreadful thing.  And I have suffered for it more than any other sin I may have committed. Indeed, it may be the only sin I am sure of. There was a time when I was so gripped by the  whirling madness of the world an instinct for survival stripped everything good in me.  A terrible time, the very worst.  If I look for a defense I can only see a confusion that was so great as to blind me. 

There is so much in life that can bring us pain. I don't know if friendship brings comfort, there are hurts that cannot be assuaged by comfort. A good friend actually lessens our misfortunes by the sweet fact of a concern that becomes a willingness to share a burden. Troubles shared with a friend become troubles divided by half. If Sisyphus had had such a friend together they may have pushed that boulder right on down the other side of that mountain.

And good times are made all the better shared with friends.  Just as they have a way of dividing the pain, they increase our joy, our deep pleasures. A laugh with a good friend goes deeper, lasts longer. To dance with a friend is a pure joy.  A dinner lovingly prepared and shared with friends is a culinary delight no matter what the menu may read.

And to talk!  To be understood and loved for what you have to say and how you say it by friends is no less than a glimpse of utopia. This! is how the world could be.

This blog was inspired by friends.  The energy it has taken to maintain it has its source in friends.  Now there are readers who are strangers to me but no matter, I'll treat them as friends as well. And maybe that is the essential dream of utopia, we may not all share the privilege of friendship but we can share its caring ways.