Why Good Friends Matter

Audience has always been a complete conundrum for me.  I often wonder whether I need any audience at all.  Do I want an audience to expand the discussion, yes.  Do I want an audience to ratify that what I have accomplished is “good”, no.  Do I want an audience to establish myself as a player in the arena, not really.  Do I want an audience to share my frankly warm and fuzzy or anyway deeply felt feelings underneath what is visible – eg to closest of friends and family, indeed.  But I have no idea where that leads me.

Chica, my friend from graduate school, we called each other chica, don’t know how it started.  It’s thirty years later now and we are still friends.  We are very different, she is tall, I am short.  She is a Mayflower WASP American, I am an immigrant.  She is moderate politically, I am to the left side.  But, through graduate school and through the years after we kept our friendship.

This connection was not just the standard stuff of greeting cards and visits.  Actually, we went through long periods with no contact.  But, we stuck to challenging each other.  When we were thirsty for ideas, for a long conversation that meandered in and out of the movies, literature, politics, parenting, life, actually any and all ideas, no limits.  These were our touchstone moments.

In this one paragraph, she grasped what I was thinking about, my writing sometimes is not crystal clear, but she found it.  I have to say giving up the easy readership is not without trepidation but giving oneself time to noodle ideas and to re-think how to use the medium of blogging is sure what one should do from time to time.  I am of the immediate gratification school, it’s time to ponder.


4 thoughts on “Why Good Friends Matter

  1. Friends like this are so rare and wonderful. It takes hundreds of casual readers to make up for one Chica. But in the end, it is the one Chica who really makes the difference. But how do you stumble on someone who may be the one who really does “get” your convoluted writing? You need a larger audience; or just a handful who, combined, equal a Chica.

    In the past month I have been to two funerals of octogenarians that were attended by their friends from high school (and earlier!). What I know is that I only have one friend who has known me since my teens and she’s living a hard and fast life. I keep pissing people off — the ones who aren’t the true Chicas. So I’m learning to treasure the potential Chicas and wallow in their presence. Just getting the definition of “good friend” right is the tough part.

  2. I think it’s a wise move for your own growth, although I hate the idea of not having you commenting and participating in OS politics and goings on.

    I write without posting much more than I post what I write. I think it has to do with my need to be utterly honest and vent vs my need to be part of a community. I’m reading The Artist’s Way at the moment and the first thing she starts people out with is the idea of morning pages. Every morning you get up and do 3 longhand pages and leave them be. Don’t edit or even look at them- just purge and go. I am amazed at how freeing making yourself write is. Sounds counter intuitive, but it’s been amazingly effective for me.

  3. One Chica is worth a thousand readers and insincere rates. But the “audience” can be seductive. It’s only when you are across the table from your Chicas that you remember what is what. I am wrestling with this too.

  4. I’m a little new at this “friends over long periods of time” thing but I’m building up. I’ve got the thirty-year friendship with someone with whom I’ve reconnected over a sorrowful situation–but she now knows I’m there for her. My friend Patty, with whom I have some “political” differences, is someone with whom I can relax, because she and I are both about finding common ground. In the last decade, I have met women I consider to be amazing (including you, Clio) in part because they are smart and accomplished, in part because they are so open and self-aware, but mostly because they value friendship as much as I do.

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