lhexa ([personal profile] lhexa) wrote2011-05-19 01:48 am

"It would be a fierce rather than a peaceful friendship..."

I had reason to think of this old email recently. It is from the summer of 2002, shortly before I cut off all contact with friends for about half a year, a period I called my capital-A "Avoidance." I realized later that the email was a circuitous way of asking Raki permission to criticize her, years before I learned how to say such a thing as "I'm angry at you." She didn't reply.

Many of my thoughts have no further life to live after I first articulate them. Not so for the idea of friendship first expressed here.

>>No, not really. Things are a bit simpler now.
>Perhaps for you... In what way?

There are fewer things that I care about nowadays. I can set my sights on something distant, some far-away goal, and consider it while everything around me flows on without touching me, sometimes for days at a time. I can't even begin to understand what kind of person this is making me. I can speak with a perfect semblance of calm while in the midst of any intense conflict or desire. I'm still quite lazy, but that's slowly changing. And I have learned a bit about my capacity to endure. I could spend the next few years entirely without friends, though it would be one of the most painful experiences in my life.

My forum-inhabiting days are over... and good riddance to all the ill-fated sentiments that forums cause. Although I have had incredible experiences at Draconic, when I go back and look at them now I realize how much the joy of those early times depended on inexperience, and a somewhat silly willingness to spend effort and emotion in a discussion for no reason beyond some whim. I do not believe that my extraordinary fortune in finding Draconic will ever again be matched, both because my demands have risen and because the community there was a fluke in the first place.

I have mastered the quick, commitment-less affection -- I can now find small amounts of pleasure in any activity, subject, or person, though to keep myself sincere I will keep myself at some distance from each of these. So alienation, or a soul-crushing isolation, will not be dangers for me. Whatever familiar emotion I feel, I can exploit to its fullest, so frustration also won't be a problem. I have only flown once in my life, though it took some work so that I am now able to avoid false claims of flight... and now, for reasons which I can recall clearly but not describe accurately, I am almost certain that it will be a length of time comparable to a decade -- maybe more, maybe less -- before flight will be possible again. I can certainly wait.

Some people seek friendship for nothing but support. They have trouble deciding what to believe, and so find others to coax them into belief -- they flee from their emotions, and from the difficult times in their lives, to the comfort of these friends... to make everything easier, their outlook brighter, their spirits higher, they accept a dependence on, and perhaps the dependence of, friends. For other people friendship is a natural consequence of a mutual, fierce desire to be independent, to never have to flee or shrink from some experience, to leave their mark on the world... but I am oversimplifying things.

There is a certain level of friendship with which I am quite familiar. In it, the friends bring each other some degree of happiness... they know each other well enough to consistently bring something good into each other's life, and this sort of companionship is likely to be among the things that they value most. In such a friendship time has set the boundaries of their involvement; each friend, out of consideration for the other, draws lines beyond which 'e will not go without utmost temerity, so as not to intrude on the other in any way. Each friend also forswears doing certain things to the other, these things perhaps being giving insults, speaking morosely, making negative judgments of character or actions, or attacking in any manner beyond harmless sparring. In a very long span of time, these boundaries, before never definite, become familiar, and the friends' actions within them become well-worn and easy to expect. In virtually all of my recent messages to you I've said things completely unprecedented in the time we've spent talking -- haven't you noticed, Raki?

There's another level of friendship that I can vaguely imagine. In it, each friend has, not without much thought and turmoil, given the other the right, or the permission, to judge, criticize, and berate without restriction, expecting that the other has enough caution, understanding and affection towards 'es friend to do all of these things well, to a still-bearable degree, and in those areas in which such vicious treatment would be for the sake of the friend and the friendship. Such a friend could be one's best ally and one's best critic -- not only or not even a person who is there during moments of weakness, but a person who helps make sure such moments of weakness never come. It would not be this friend's obligation never to overstep certain boundaries -- but rather never to allow any definite boundaries, or even habits and rituals of friendship, to come into existence in the first place. It would be a fierce rather than a peaceful friendship -- and it might look appalling to outsiders. I've not yet been fortunate enough to have this type of friend.

I'm in a bit of a pensive mood right now... I said that things were getting less complex because the only online contact that exists for me anymore is with you and Dw; so it has become quite a simple matter to keep up the conversations, it doesn't even take that much time. But I don't know whether or not things will be getting even more simple in the months to come.

eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)

[personal profile] eredien 2013-02-15 03:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I miss Raki.
eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)

[personal profile] eredien 2013-02-16 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
Me too; but Raki's strong. Tonight I've been listening to a Pandora station based on a Talvin Singh song she sent me years ago -- thinking of her & wishing her well.