Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Meaning of Friendship

Some days I end up feeling as if I'm a strange kind of alien creature that holds values far above what people can realistically attain. I tell myself that I am some kind of freak because I believe that friendship is such a valued and cherished part of me that I can't compromise on what I believe. I tell myself that I hold back until I am sure because I know once I give it, it is for life. I tell myself that friendship means acceptance and tolerance and unconditional love. Anything else, and it is NOT friendship. I tell myself this is the natural order of things and anything that falls outside those lines is a poor and unsatisfying imitation of the real thing.

This is why, when someone does something that tells me not only do they believe differently than I do, but something about my beliefs makes them want to cut me down, much as those who walk through a forest think only of which trees are the best to slam into with a chainsaw, I end up locking myself in my bear den in stunned horror.

I know there is evil in the world. I know there are bad people. I know there are sociopaths who can lie as easily as they speak the truth. I know there are people who live to take vengeance on others for reasons known only to them. I know such people exist. I just don't expect to find them among people who profess undying love and friendship for me. I tend to believe them when they say such things.

I also tend to believe that once you give your heart to someone, once you say the words I love you, then you can never hurt that person, no matter how the relationship ended. To do so would make a mockery of love. It would cheapen it. It would make it seem something weak and easily wiped away as if it were some meaningless speck of dirt.

I also believe that when people split up, neither has the right to put an extra burden on their mutual friends by demanding they choose sides. I have spent my life trying to be fair in such situations. I can always see both sides of the issues in every relationship. I can empathise, sympathize, listen attentively and respectfully...and still not take a side, no matter who I believe is at fault. This is what it means to be a friend. This is what it means to have friendship, once given, be non-negotiable.

That is why I am always so stunned, so deeply wounded when anyone goes against this, or worse, when they use it against me to get back at someone else. People know how I feel, and yet that doesn't stop them from demanding I choose sides. It doesn't stop them from taking sides in my own relationship paths. It doesn't stop them from going against everything they once said in such sincerity that I feel a fool for believing it now.

And yet, believe it I must. If I allow myself to take sides, if I allow myself to fall apart because I learn friends I cherished walked out of my life because an ex partner made it a condition of continued friendship, then I fall to the lowest level of the basest act.

That is the split in the human condition, the two sides of ourselves we are always trying to reconcile with being alive. No matter what we believe, there will always be someone who will try and take it from us. Strength is therefore defined as not letting them do it, no matter what evil and disgusting methods they use to do so.

The Doggess of Unconditional Love is another one of my designs from my store. My Store

I also started a blog over at myspace that is going to focus on things like the politics of peace and respect. I only have a couple entries in it so far and some of my more political art. I'd be honored to have people visit there as well.

My home at

No comments: