Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Kindred Spirit

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.’”

Isn't it wonderful to find someone who shares the same interests as you? I remember an activity in high school - writing a want ad for the perfect friend. He or she would be this and this and that. At that time I thought it would be wonderful to find someone with all the same interests: Will love to read and to write poetry and prose, but must also love "partying" and being with friends. Music totally important and if you don't like Yes and Genesis you probably won't like me. (Yes, I was a child of the 70's.) In those days it seemed easy to find someone who was just like me because we were all conforming to the same ideals--even trying to be non-conformists was part of teenage pack behavior.

These days, I'm happy to have lots of acquaintances, and I'm always surprised when I come across someone and think, "You too? I thought I was the only one!" Today I discovered that Bea at Dog-in-the-Hole Studio likes an artist named Hundertwasser, someone whose work I also admire. I haven't yet met anyone else who likes his work, so that was a happy moment for me. (I'm creating a series of chipboard houses based on Hundertwasser's style.)

Of course, our deepest friendships -- the people with whom we share our most private thoughts, joys and sorrows -- are the constants in our lives that keep us whole and give us joy. But don't minimize the power of those surprising moments of serendipity, those instances where we see some connection to another and think, "You too? I thought I was the only one!" You might be looking at a kindred spirit.

What is it that lets you know someone may become more than just another acquaintance?


Brenda said...

This is a tough one. I never was one to have a lot of friends. Growing up as a teenager, I had one best friend, Lorraine, and she is still it! There were two other women I really connected with, but our friendships fizzled as our lives changed.

Proximity makes friendship so much easier. I think once distance is put between you, it is really hard to keep the connection.

There was a period when my kids were younger when I felt like I had so many friends in my community, but that too has changed since the kids have grown up. Most of the people I hang out would be my co-workers, but I don't think there is any long lasting relationships there.

I had a friend who lives around the corner, but for the 17 years we were friends I always felt that it was strained. Personality wise we have so little in common, and now her daughter is pregnant and she is embarrassed by it, and she doesn't like my thoughts on the subject, so we are not communicating. I don't feel sad about it. I am almost relieved, but I am darn curious as to what exactly I said or did that caused her to stop considering me as her "best" friend.

Friendships are fleeting. Some last years. Some last weeks. Some are situational. Few last forever, and those are the ones I for some crazy reason always try to pursue but have only been successful once in my life maintaining.

This is all completely on a tangent. The answer to the question is that I go for personality these days. I don't want to hang around with anyone who does not know how to handle life, their problems and their challenges unless they do it with grace and humor. It is too short to be bogged down by negativity.

Bea said...

By my age it's easy to tell what a real friend is, it's the person that sends the email, picks up the phone, drives the distance to ask me how I'm doing, if I need their help, do I need a shoulder or tells me that I just made their day with a laugh or smile. There is no competition with my friends, we support, love, listen, console, remind, and just love each other for who we are.
When I find somebody that shares a common interest I don't expect them to be a clone of me. I respect and honor their differences. Being able to talk about and share a common interest is wonderful.
I have had friends come in and out of my life. It saddens me when the friendship no longer works. We all grow at different rates and never isn't really a word I use. Who knows when we my bump into each other again and pick up where we left off. If not, they have added to the richness of my life cloth.
Say what was the question? lol :)Bea

paperqueen said...

You're talking about that feeling that you "click" with another person. That happened to me with a few people I met on the cruise. These days it generally begins with a sense of humor. I can be as serious as anyone, but I can't bear being around people who don't know how to laugh.
When I see a little mischief in the eyes, and realize we share that somewhat dark sense of humor, I am open to seeing what else we have in common.
I do have friends I love who I have almost nothing in common with EXCEPT for humor, so that really goes a long way.
Good question. And I'm still thinking about the answer.

Paula said...

No clue.


Brandie said...

For me, it's a mutual love of reading. It gives me lots of joy to be talking to someone and find out they love books, just like I do. It may be the only thing we have in common...but I've made quite a few acquaintences at work just based on a mutual love of reading.

morningDove said...

oh i have a friend that introduced me to Hundertwasser this year. I did a page for her in a round robin dream house book. I bought one of his books and sent another copy to another friend that would be doing a page for her too. i like his philosophy of different names for different times.

i will be mailing my box to Kenya tomorrow. found flip flops for 70% off. hurray.

Lisa said...

My initial interest in becoming friends with someone has to do with how friendly they are and sense of humor. I'm always looking for a caring person when I'm picking a friend.

I was a child of the 70's, too! Not as much a fan of Genesis but I did love "Yes." And Neil Young, and Fleetwood Mac, and The Band...ahh, memories!

Holli said...

Its that "you too?" moment for me... and then when the common interests keep flowing and the convo is easy... that's my "I want this one as a friend" moment.

Aimeslee said...

I can't define or describe it, but I have it with you. :-)) Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one, Teri. xoxo