Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Friends....

I had a quick conversation with a friend of mine today. I had not talked to him in a really long time. He has gone through alot of changes in his life over the past couple of years. A new place to live, a new life essentially and my guess he has new friends. One of his first comments to me was, "just thinking about you...I have been a bad friend." To me it was a funny statement. I questioned why he was concerned that he had been a bad friend to me. I honestly had to ask him what he was talking about? I think he was concerned that it had been so long since we last talked. My mind went into a flurry of thoughts that mostly centered around how I treat my own friends.

I have many friends. I like to imagine that I have many friends. All of these people I call a friend might have different opinions. A person I may call a good friend, might think I am a casual acquaintance. I believe there are many levels of friendships and that it is difficult to judge where you fall in that order with your friends. I find that depending on the situation, the level of friendship can change. "Hey Marty! Do you know John?"..."Yeah, John is a great friend!". A week later with another person...."John is a friend of yours...right? Did you hear that he got himself into some major trouble?" I might respond to that differently. It is human nature to disassociate yourself with friends when it might look bad on YOU. I hope I never do that to my friends, but I am afraid I may have in the past.

I have friends that are merely acquaintances. I may have met them a few times, know them through another friend, or just want to associate yourself with them. I sent out a twitter today that talked about my friend Mark Lee from Third Day. We are not really friends. We met a couple of times. He does not know me from Adam, would not recognize me from the Baby Taylor signing, but I like to think of us in that light.

I have friends who are very close. They know intimate details about my life. I talk to them when I have problems. We live life together. This is obviously a small group of people....maybe even not half a handful. These friends are precious to me. They are even closer than family at times. I laugh with these friends. I cry with these friends. I fight and argue with these friends. These best friend types of friendships are often volatile. I say that because they are so deep. They can't be superficial. If you find they turn into shallow relationships, then they dissolve. They go away. In these intimate friendships, all senses are involved. They are sensitive. I find that i can be angry with them at one moment, but forgive them in the very next breath because you know how important they are in your life. You need them, they need you. I have these relationships. At any given point in time, I am at every point in the spectrum with that friend. I love them just the same.

I have many friends that fall anywhere in between those to extremes. They are there because I choose to put them there or maybe they choose to be there. Sometimes these friends grow to become friends in that upper tier. Sometimes distance, time and life get in the way and you just can't be as close as you want to be or allow you to grow apart. I can go years without seeing some of these friends and the second we have an encounter, it is like we have never been apart. Others friends...it is like starting from scratch. It comes down to the amount of "life" i do with these friends. Lets be honest, how many BEST friends can you really have at one time?

All of this is why I thought it was funny that my friend felt like he needed to apologize for being a "bad friend". He did not choose to be my friend. Our life circumstances brought us together, through music, chrysalis, church, etc. I honestly wanted to be his friend more than he probably wanted to be mine. I really appreciate what friendship we do have at this point in our lives. We don't get to talk everyday. That is not my expectation. He doesn't make sure he sneaks a visit when he is in town. I am not offended. If he sees me on line and says "hey". I will reply and not worry about how many days since our last conversation. I do not worry about things like that. I am a forgiving friend. I hope my friends are as forgiving of me.

My fellow skier...it was great to catch up with you today We need to hit the slopes, then we can relax and play some tunes on our guitars. If we never get to catch up and do that....well...it will still be a great friendship.
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1 comment:

The Fixit Dude said...

Dude, I can so relate. I cherish the bond we have developed over this short period of time. You are truly my brother and I am there for whenever you are need.