Saturday, March 11, 2006

Friendships Are Not Physical

The most curious friendships of my life have been started in these last three years. I have people dear to my heart that I have never embraced and the ones with whom I wondered if I ever would and yet have are now even more precious to me.

How do we measure friendship? It is a question with overtones of both longing and danger, but one we embark upon so early. We start to call others our best friends so early. Only as we age do we think to put measures even upon that, narrowing down to bestest, or oldest, or most devoted. In the beginning, we just love those that love us back.

Least you think I am climbing upon my polyamorous soapbox, I will point out that it is also in those times that we are often our most cruel, our most selfish and most thoughtless. I am not advocating a point of view that youth always knows best. However, there is justification here in saying that the limits we place are a learned behavior.

Is one any less a friend because the hugs have been delivered via keyboard? Because the shoulder for crying was supporting a telephone as well as a confidant? Is one any less a lover because the memory of the kisses is imagined or faded by time?

We are limited in those we can interact with on a fleshly basis by many means…time, distance, expense. The customs of our cultures or the cruel chalice of circumstance. As I am on this journey to visit with friends whose refusal to accept those limitations is so very manifest in all our shared lives, I wonder at the arrogance of someone who can attempt to imagine that these friendships are any less real. In my time of need they have given more courageous comfort than any would dare demand. I will be embracing two couples whose very existence is due to their refusal to accept these barriers.

It is said there are no new frontiers…clearly the cliché does not apply as equally to emotion as it does to geography.


Alessia Brio said...

A toast: To frontiers!

Gwen Masters said...

Absolutely. "Distance" is only geography...nothing more.

Hugo said...

Wonderfully stated Bel and so very very true.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too agree that a lover can be one to you despite the lack of physical relations. You have, in fact, a lover you've yet to touch. Why accept the limits?