"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tremendous


"You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing." ~ E.B. White

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an unworthy recipient of God's gift of imparting laughter to others.

It is something I can't control. It is in many ways, similar to writing. The muse visits you and leaves on its own accord, its own timetable. And that lack of control - having no say whatsoever on when it visits and how long it stays - keeps me appreciating it more and more through the years. And because I can't crack jokes on demand, I am always grateful when I am surrounded by laughter. And when it is in response to a joke that I shared, or a funny story I recounted, I am not just grateful, I am grateful beyond words.

Most of my friendships start with laughter. But a whole lot of them really just live there and stay there. A number of them progress a little deeper, to the point where I can show not just the funny side of me, but the serious side too. Inevitably, the snarky and snappish sides of me will turn up as well. I don't always appreciate that, but rightly or wrongly, they seem to be part of who I am.

Last night, I had a couple of my close friends over for dinner and for some unfathomable reason, I knew I wouldn't necessarily be on funny mode last night. But I thought to myself that I thoroughly enjoy each of their company anyways. I also felt like I know them well enough to hope that I could be anything other than funny last night and they'd still be ok with it. That they'd still want to be my friends. Maybe they will even realize that with me, it is more of an honor I give to my friends when I turn up unfunny. It means I feel safe and accepted and welcomed, regardless of the muse.

There was a moment last night, when I was tinkering in the kitchen. One friend was checking FB on my laptop while sitting on my sofa and another friend was reading on my daybed. There were no conversations. The only sound was of Tuck and Patti songs filling my small flat to the brim.

I really, really liked that moment, Lord. It touched me so. And I think it's because even though sharing laughter marks the start of most of my friendships, sharing silence seals it for me. And I found myself in that moment not just thankful for these two friends, but also hopeful that these friendships will last.

Thank You for blessing me with these friendships, Lord. Take care of each of them. Thank You that You do.

(Photo credit: Jason Cross)

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