Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Friendship

Today has been emotional as I visited a friend who is very ill. I prepared myself mentally as well as I could, having read up about the condition; I knew I had to see him, I didn't want to leave it.  Whilst so desperately sad to see a friend in such a different state of health to how I've previously seen him, I am so very glad I spent time with him and stayed strong in his presence. The look on his face when he first saw me enter the room was so lovely, so uplifting and precious – that special twinkle in his eyes, I wouldn't have appreciated before today just how much I could value that.

I don't want to dwell on the sadness of all this though, so instead let me tell you about how we met. A few years ago, not long after I started blogging, someone I didn't know at all left a comment. I was curious as to who he was and how he might have found his way to this site. As he later explained to me, he saw it on a blog list and was immediately intrigued just by the name because he's interested in birds. When he looked through my posts, he was surprised to see how much else resonated. Likewise, curious about my new visitor and interested in his comment, I ended up perusing his blog too and found we had so many topics in common that it was almost uncanny.

A little bit of lovely inter-blog banter ensued. It was clear that we shared interests and experiences in music – punk in particular – as well as in nature, and in art and illustration. We discovered we'd even had the same art tutor for a while, even though at different establishments. We found out we'd both been born in London, both have connections to certain bands, that we like spiders and insects, that we admire the same illustrators, like much of the same comedy, that we'd both had certain family loss experiences and so on and so on, and then we realised that we even live in the same county.

Whereabouts in the same county? I wondered... I left a cryptic comment once, referring to the village I live in just by its initials: “Maybe you know it? It's full of antique shops,” I said.
The reply was quite cryptic too. “Yes, I know it. A fine place.”

Mutual trust established, our comment ping-pong then evolved into email exchange. As our rapport and familiarity built we started to reveal more about our locations. Right. We not only live in the same county but, can you believe it? - we live in the same village!

And then guess what? We not only live in the same village, but we live in the same street!

Thus the virtual friendship became real – I only have to cross the road and walk a few hundred yards down, after all! - and over a few years we've shared many cups of tea and lively, lovely conversations, borrowed each other's books and films and enjoyed one of those easygoing friendships that is simple, unintrusive, unpressured, equal. The best kind, when you don't need to see each other all that often, when nobody is offended if you don't reply straight away to an email, but when you do meet you rabbit for hours and don't want to stop.  I'm so pleased we've had that - and it all started here.

12 comments:

  1. How magical, C! Talk about kismet or serendipity! It's wonderful that you spent this time with your friend. I'm sure you were both uplifted by the visit. All the best!

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  2. Sorry to hear about your friend but what a lovely story turning a virtual world into reality.
    More power to the bloggers!

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  3. Oh my goodness, how magical and at the same time very sad.

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  4. That is an amazing coincidence, C. Thanks for sharing that with us. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend but so glad that you have been able to share some time with him. Peace.

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  5. So nice that you got to know each other before this illness, I am sure it is a source of strength to your friend. How strange that this worldwide anonymous space should bring together two people who lived almost side by side but who may have never met otherwise.

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  6. What a lovely story C about how you met, as you say the best kind of friendship. Sorry to hear of his illness.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this remarkable story C. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's illness.

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  8. Really appreciate these kind comments, everyone, thank you. He's such a lovely man; I'm struggling with all this a bit at the moment.

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  9. Wow. Just read this after getting in late. Best wishes from here too.

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  10. A very stellar street ;-)
    With a crinkle crankle wall!

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