Date: 2009-02-03 07:17 pm (UTC)
I've always been a bit nervous about defining the concept: Friendship. I think it's my extravert side, anyone who I can remember the name of and am glad to see (most of the time) qualifies as a friend, assuming those feelings are mutual. And I've managed to lose a few friends (?) because they created definitions that somehow excluded me. That being said, there *are* degrees.

The sort of friends that you can drop your guard around, who you don't have to be defensive toward or live in fear that they'll find some way to take offense, where you can actually be comfortable and at peace (spelled "peas" the first time through) are invaluable and rare.

The part that resonates most strongly (and really kind of hurts, it's so true to me) is gauging one's history by fading acquaintances, friends passing from memory. Someone important whose name I will never remember compared great lives to something like birds carrying torches across a chasm. In most cases, the light fades out, either dying from memory or just to faint to see at such a distance--but some few make it to the other side and shine like stars in perpetuity. Knowing you, you probably remember the actual quote ;)

Can a friendship be like that? A lot of people I treasure are dim memories now. It seems like the only ones that are lights shining forever are the ones from my early childhood, formative people that shaped me when I was still malleable (I know, people can always change, but no-one's as shapeable at 30 as they are at age five). Thinking of all the people I used to be thrilled to see, who now are just vague clouds that I can only barely wrap a shape around...*shudder* The deep kind of friend makes me dread the inevitability of forgetting.

Love...hmm...feels like a slippery slope sometimes...barring base issues of compatibility, love might only be the destination point at the end of a long hill--the top of which has lots of brambles and handholds to hold onto, with more and more things to let go of, until you're sliding and running out of control. However, as I'm engaged to my best friend, that may be a more natural comparison for me. Trite as it is, there's an element of truth to "When Harry Met Sally."

It may be that, for some of us flighty butterfly-types, we keep an outer layer of friendship that's a defense mechanism. It's easy to say "oh, this is my friend" about fifty different people, and leave it at that, and use that as a protective husk to keep the majority people at bay, away from the more vulnerable skin beneath where you really can only have someone you know won't take advantage of vulnerability.

I had to create a new livejournal icon, just for you sir...
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