December 7th, 2004

The Art of Friendship

Two neat things happened to me today. I shall relate them to you in order.

First of all, I ran into an old friend at Target. It had been over a year since I last saw her, and I was quite surprised. Instantly when I saw her, memories came rushing back from all the years we’ve known each other. As we spent a few minutes catching up, the flood of memories was tinged with guilt, as it is completely my fault that we haven’t seen each other in so long. As I stuttered through a combination semi-explanation, semi-apology, I couldn’t hold back the tears. As we parted, we hugged, and I took the weight of my memories with me on my walk to the van.

When I got home (this is the second part), there was a package waiting for me on my doorstep. When I saw the return address, I knew immediately what it was, but I had no idea what it looked like. See, I have this new-ish friend that I’ve known less than a year that is a budding artist. I’d seen some of her drawings and her paintings, and one day I mentioned that I would love to have something she had painted. She perked right up and promised she would do something for me one day. That day was a few weeks ago, and the package arrived today. I hope to get a picture of it scanned in so you can see it, but I’m not sure how to do that, since it’s too big for any scanners I have access to. It’s colorful and exciting and I just love it. I’ve never held an actual painted piece of art-on-canvas before, and it’s an amazing feeling.

It got me to thinking. This isn’t a new analogy by any stretch, but if our lives are paintings that we’re working on every day, I think friends are the colors. The borders are what we do – they determine how the colors are going to lay on the canvas, but sometimes the results aren’t what we necessarily expect. Sometimes the colors cross over and erase borders we thought were permanently etched. Sometimes the borders stop the paint from going somewhere it would fit beautifully. Some colors are bright and brief, some large and foundational, and still others are but shadows that bring out the other colors. Sometimes colors you didn’t think would go together very well combine to make new and never-before-seen shades and shapes. Though the canvas can be uneven and imperfect, the colors make it all worthwhile.

Thank you, old friends and new, for beautifying my canvas.

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