Tuesday, January 5, 2010
On the shore.
Families usually play this role. They are there when you need them. They'll throw you a life jacket, or ring, or pole, and keep you from sure destruction. This assurance, this belief that no matter what I've done, how stupidly I've acted, when I'm in deep doo-doo, the family will throw me a life-saving device, this comforts us, and lets us forgive and forget all the trauma that exists in families.
Friends also play this role. They point out our mistakes and our idiosyncracies right to our face. We expect them to keep us out of trouble, for our own good. We expect them to drive us home after a beer binge, after a fight, after we have lost our ability to control our lives. They know enough secrets and weaknesses, that if they got upset with us, they could become our worst enemies.
Writing buddies have the special role of encouraging and detecting. Sometimes, they become such good friends, that they tend to do one or the other. They want to detect all the time; or, encourage all the time. Unlike teachers who tend to keep a distance, making sure mistakes are always noticed and corrected, writing buddies have to find this balance. Too friendly, and the critical eye suffers; too critical, and the friendly blanket is dropped.
That brings me to blogging friends. Without any protocols, we have taken up our roles and fit right in. We encourage, we sympathize, we add to the discussion, we visit often enough to pick out the patterns of each other's lives, and we socialize beautifully. When we get tired, we drop out of sight.
Don't you wish life was always this easy?