Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Art of Friendship

Quest by Quotation

It is commonly said by farmers, that a good pear or apple costs no more time or pains to rear, than a poor one; so I would have no work of art, no speech, or action, or thought, or friend, but the best. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~C.S. Lewis
What creative hobbies or interests bind you to your friends? How would creativity help you to make new friends?

Saturday I went to Seagrove N.C., home of a community of potters, with one friend. Wednesday was Wilmington and the discovery of a wonderful wood themed shop, Barouke, full of everything wooden from jewelry to furniture with another. Friday was Cedar Creek Gallery, wood, pottery and glass, in Raleigh with yet another friend.
I had decided last week that I needed a mental health break and gallivanting around North Carolina seeking inspiration from the artists scattered about seemed the way to take a "mini- vacation." Also soothing my soul was the presence of good friends. My friends are all different, though we are about the same age. However, I marveled over and over at the blessing of companions who appreciate beauty and creativity in others, linger over the smoothness of fired clay or comment on the colors of glazes, wonder at the idea to turn wood fence posts into vases, or appreciate the garden flowers and art in front of a shop.
My writing friends, Emerson and Lewis, note that both friendship and art are things we must cultivate in order to have a full life, one with greater meaning than mere survival. I am fortunate to be surrounded by those who help make my life better by their own creativity, insight, and appreciation for the beauty created by others. For one who believes that God resides in each one of us, in our souls, I know the Creator resides in my friends.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lost and Found

It's gone. The bracelet my daddy brought back from the Great Southwest when I was a very little girl is gone. I don't have that many pieces of my past that go back that far...and now I have one less. Somewhere between South Restaurant in North Hills and JC Penny's, it disappeared, ironically right after my lunch mate admired it.

I was not as upset as I thought I should be so I waited two days, between calling restaurants and offices to check and see if it was found, to see if my usual delayed reaction appeared. I got a little more blue, sniffed, and moaned. Still nothing major. No national day of shrouded grief. No debilitating agony. What I did experience was pondering thoughts about those items in my life that would have caused an instantaneous thirty-day period of mourning. My wedding and engagement rings that have been on my fingers twenty-seven years as of next month. My husband lost his wedding band at the side of the road after having to reload an order of lumber. Fortunately it was found but the guy was in the kind of agony I both appreciated and forever after want to avoid. The black and white cameo ring that was the last thing my mother bought for me, as we strolled around an antique show in Asheville, NC, before her untimely death. I have always called it my magic ring because I put it on and it was a perfect fit. The necklace with the "Ask Seek, Knock" door charm that is more symbolic than a cross to me. Not much more than that.

We all think we won't survive when we lose the material things like jewelry or, worse, our homes. When we lose loved ones, it does feel unbearable. What we do not lose are the memories attached to those people and things. While there are days when that may seem like cold comfort, those memories become a part of our very essence, who we are, what we will become. That thought is what I like to think I have found this week, in the midst of loss.