Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Friends Work

My friends work hard. I know this not because they tell me so, but because I see them working hard. I see what they write. I see what they read. I see their faces lined with the trouble of work and worry. My friends work hard.

I know they work hard too because I work hard and we are friends. My friends would not be friends with someone who didn't work hard. Or, I should say it's unlikely. My friends would gladly be friends with someone who didn't work hardly at all, as long as when they did work, it was on something hard. My friends are not escapists or Lotharios. They are poets, writers, actors, painters, and philosophers.

I worry about some of my friends. I do not worry about the work. I work in a law firm, and some of my favorite people are partner-level attorneys who work insane hours. They are not dead, these people I know, not yet, and my writer friends will not die from their kind of work. And, as we know, anything short of death is food for thought. No, what I worry about in re some of my friends is their loneliness.

God, who I believe has gotten just about everything right, has perpetrated a bit of nastiness in that someone who does what my friends do for a living is likely to find it difficult to secure a stable lifestyle or therefore a stable lifelong relationship. This observation comes out of someone who has been a spouse of mixed blessings, you understand, so I make no excuses for myself. I though have the good luck to have the opportunity and determination to prove myself. But for some of my friends, such opportunities are scarce or hard won.

I don't know what to say to my friends sometimes. I know friends who are clearly wonderful, caring, able, loving people, who are alone - now in their late twenties, into their thirties, their forties, and then what? What I say I only say to myself, unless asked, and it is that it only takes one. One person to complete your life. And each life is in part a history of having found that person, who identically has found you, and in that there is a great deal of what God has done right and what makes this world what it is, for we cannot be determined only in determining, but in having been determined, by history, relationships, by context, by reality.

I want my friends to have what is meager and obvious, as well as what is laudable and brilliant. So what can I do except say, I love my friends. I believe in my friends. And I need my friends' support, for I am struggling in my own way too. Who knows what your love will be? Can such a thing be predictable? Of course not. Can such a thing be encompassed by good works? Yes, it can.

So here I am, admiring my friends and really not at all fearful. Not really, except as my imaginative limitations may disallow possibilities that some of my friends may be living in right now. Right now.

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