Woo hoo! I’m starting at 10:30 tonight. Maybe it’s a trend. Problem is, last night I had an idea about a friend I wanted to write about. Tonight I’m staring at the screen and chewing on my pencil in consternation.
I could write about Jenny, but I talk about her often enough and she is very particular about what’s said about her. Plus she knows where I live and has threatened to hit me if she doesn’t like what I say. (although she is a very intelligent, funny, kind, fun-loving, SINGLE, attractive blond, should anybody be minutely curious)
I could write about Lupita, who has an incredible strength and has taught me much about the value of faith and I love dearly. But, I’ve already done that.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Crunch. Crunch Crunch.
Frank? Nancy? Cheryl? Roj? Dave? Alan? Belinda? Chris? Bess? Linda? Lisa? Facebook Friends? Online Friends?
It would seem as though this topic would be able to inspire a plethora of interesting ideas, yet here I sit, chewing on a pencil and listening to “Tie Your Mother Down” with no inspiration at all.
How about friends that are not human or furry?
Music? Nature? Dancing? Sunshine? Good books and or movies? Special places?
What defines a friend? According to Miriam-Webster the word friend means:
Definition of FRIEND1a: one attached to another by affection or esteem b:acquaintance2a: one that is not hostile b: one that is of the same nation, party, or group3: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)4: a favored companion5capitalized: a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker— friend·less\ˈfren(d)-ləs\ adjective— friend·less·nessnoun— be friends with: to have a friendship or friendly relationship with
Examples of FRIEND
- I’d like you to meet my friend.
- He’s no friend of mine.
- … she … got a job, made friends and managed to write a novel that hit the best-seller lists and stayed there … —Garrison Keillor, New York Times Book Review, 11 June 2006
- Over the last couple of years I have experienced moments of disbelief when I meet my friends in public. They look older than I think they should. —Alice Munro, In the Stacks, 2002
- Never had a friend like that before or since. Never laughed so hard in my life as I did with Manny. —Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997
Origin of FRIEND
Middle English frend, from Old English frēond; akin to Old High German friunt friend, Old English frēon to love, frēo freeFirst Known Use: before 12th century
Of course, that’s not exactly what my question was, right? My question was what defines a friend, not what the definition of a friend is. I must admit, I’m rather more taken with the origin of “friend” that I am with blandness of the current definition.
“to love, free”
There you go. That’s my topic. Free love. Not the 60’s and early 70’s version of free love, but love given freely to someone. Love given because you care, because they resonate with something inside of you. Because you feel good when you are with them and want to share that little part of you that you reserve for special people. That little spark of connection and caring. You want them to succeed. You want to see them laugh and be happy. You want to hug them when they are sad or comfort them when they are hurting. You truly care about how they feel and you feel poorly if you do something that hurts them even if things in your life changes.
Sometimes, I think that people are so brainwashed by the thought of romantic love, they can’t seem to connect the shared care and concern of one person for another as a form of love. To them, love is only about exclusivity instead of inclusiveness. Sadly, tainted with jealousy and insecurity. When did that come about? Probably because so often love is tied to sex and while sex can be part of love, it’s not the sole thing that defines if you love someone.
Free Love… love given freely. The want to help, to accept, to give, to make others happy because you care about them, because you enjoy who they are. That’s what the definition of a friend is to me.
What defines a friend? Tricky, because there are those I still consider friends that don’t speak to me anymore and there are some really good books that I spent many hours and much emotional attachment to. I have journals that I would consider good friends and my cat is definitely my friend. I guess from a personal standpoint, a friend is defined by the passion and love you have for that particular person, place or thing. From a broader perspective, a friend is someone who feels about you the way you feel about them?
Anyone got a different perspective/definition? I’d love to discuss!