Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Friendship and Gary Barlow

The email system in the office is still down. Obviously there is work we can do - meetings to attend, reports to read - and write, phone calls to make and of course the ubiquitous desk tidying. Paperless office? I don't think so quite yet.

Working from home it's slightly more problematic so having pretty much cleared today's priorities I reckon it might be time to take a few hours flexi. The shops are open, tea and scones are calling, but before then there's time to blog.

So - friendship. Been thinking a bit about this lately and in particular a quote from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

"And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also."

Years ago a dear friend gave me a copy of the book, with this inscribed inside it. I'm so sad we are no longer in touch as he shared a very low ebb and I'd have loved to share the floods with him over the years. Perhaps by the miracle of the internet he'll find this and get in touch - I am sure you know who you are!

I can't remember the last time I spoke to him. We definitely didn't say goodbye. I don't suppose either of us knew that our last meeting would be the last meeting for what is now thirty years. If we had known then what might we have said to each other?

Think back to your last day at school, at college, when you left a job. All those "not going to say goodbye" conversations and nowadays "we'll keep in touch - see you on facebook".

Years ago of course there was no such option. It came down to a phone number and a house address. Someone moved, you didn't hear or lost the details and that was that. If you felt brave enough you might phone their mum - in those days you seemed to know your friends' mums as a matter of course - but so often time slipped by and the friend became someone you used to know.

Going back to that quote now, over the past couple of years life has again been at a pretty low ebb and I've shared a lot of that with my friends. I'm grateful for people's time, attention, love, care, support. Now that I can feel the tide coming in again I'd like to do the same but how to do that?

Hospital visiting can be harrowing - for the patient and the visitors. Of course when someone is unwell our instinct is to want to go and offer support and company. But I'd like to start a campaign for Well visiting - though I don't see that particular name catching on.

Lately I've thought about dropping in on friends just for an hour, for a chat, for a cuppa. But each time I find myself thinking "they'll be busy, the time won't be convenient, they'll be at work, making dinner, bathing the kids, watching TV...." I might text or FB instead but what if we didn't have the technology that enables us to do that? We tell ourselves it's a good thing - we can keep in touch so easily - but isn't it touch without the touch?

Think back for a moment over your friendship group - are there those that you haven't physically seen for many months or years? The last time you saw them did you realise it would be so long?

I'm going to explore this a bit more later - I've heard it said that for many people friends are the new family. If that is the case how does friendship work, who are our friends and how do we manage the plethora of friends that social and job mobility bring into our twenty first century lives? If life were Google Plus who'd be in which circle?

For now I need to move on - and of course Gary is there in the title. (Not just because hits on here have dipped and I know he'll attract some attention...) But because he's one of my dinner party guests and I'm starting to think what I might ask him to kick start the conversation as I introduce him to the others. The general consensus from a straw poll seems to be he's undergone something of a transformation from being the chubby one in Take That to the Elder Statesman of pop music - and that he is seriously hot. Agree? Disagree? Post your comments and what you'd like to ask him!

But for now - to friends old and new - if we've not spoken for a while I'd love to see you, let's make it happen!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Linda, now I feel so guilty, I have at least two emails from friends that I have not responded to yet. Sometimes, and I know I shouldn't, but I also think, what's the point in just keeping in touch by email - is that bad? Everyone is far too busy to meet up these days and they think a text for FB message is just as good - it's not! Rant over!!! K xx