A new year, a return to a loved and familiar place. It’s the fourth Saturday of the month, and I’m up. When you read this, I will be away from home, celebrating a milestone birthday with my family gathered round. It was their idea, and I am blessed to be with them. I’ll try to sneak back here and interact with anyone who wishes in the comment section over at SheLoves. You can get there by clicking here.
Some ‘gathering’ friends of the mind I’ve met online and IRL.
“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” — Toni Morrison, Beloved
Who do you know that ‘gathers you?’ Who are the women in your life who see you, all of you, the pieces of you? The ones who can help you gather them up, the ones that help you to stand straighter, walk smarter? Who are the women who are ‘friends of your mind?’
We all need friends like that, don’t we? But man, they are hard to come by. I’ve been pondering why that is true and have built quite a little list of probable contributing factors. But at the bottom of it all, I keep coming back to this one: we are in a perpetual hurry. And friendships-of-the-mind require time, intention and attention.
But we’re so busy, aren’t we?We’ve got so much to do, so many people to see (very briefly, of course!), and an unending list of things to see/do/make/find/improve/ change/understand/ begin/finish. Am I right?
All of which leads to one central truth: we are habitually tired. And in the midst of chronic fatigue, who has the internal space or the emotional energy to build relationships that gather us, especially when there are deadlines to be met, crying babies to be tended, demanding bosses to be dealt with, and astronomically high expectations to be realized?Those expectation, I might add, are almost always self-imposed.
I am writing this in the middle of December, smack dab in the clutches of all things crazy. And I am feeling a sense of loss in the center of me as I try to navigate it all. My husband was sick last week and I found myself in possession of two tickets to a Christmas concert. And I could not, for the life of me, come up with someone to call and say, “Hey, can you join me?”
So now, as I carve out a few hours to be quiet and attentive to this particular writing deadline, I am wondering: how can I do my life differently in the year that is rising before us? How can I become a woman who ‘gathers the pieces’ of others and who finds friends who can gather the pieces of me?