There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reminder of How Life Works

Here is a picture of one of my favorite places, other than the new media room. The local yarn shop (LYS). And two wonderful friends there (K, I can blank out your head if you don't want it there).

Friends. I've been thinking about friendship and transitions a lot. My friends are really important to me, and one thing that an upset me a lot is thinking I have not been a good friend to someone. And I feel good when I know I have been a good friend. Like last night at the LYS, where K. over there and I both needed to just unload some stuff. We went to the back of the store and unloaded. Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you and not judge you, even when you are talking about times when you are not at your best, things that confuse you, or your regrets. I am glad to have had such a friend show up right when she was needed! I've made such good friends at this place--the owner (the other woman in the picture) has done a great job building a community of varied but generally kind souls.

Being a Friend When It's Hard. Some of those souls at the LYS have been challenging, and here's where I wonder how good a friend I have been. This week we lost a former colleague at the shop, a woman who'd had a hard time in her life, and sometimes didn't do a good job coping. And who had some "interesting" habits that could get on your nerves (examples excised). We all listened to her as much as we could, and tried to help, but none of that was enough--she just couldn't cope with all the challenges and injustices in her life. Was I a good enough friend to her? I don't think so. I was impatient a lot, even when I had empathy. I felt like, hey, I had similar issues and I handled them, so should she. But really, everyone copes differently--what is manageable to one person may not be to another. What seemed an obvious choice to me did not to her. I just hope a few of the things I said to her helped, a little. And the things our other friends did and said, especially one who was so, so patient and kind to her when she didn't have to be--I hope they eased her pain a little bit, at least for a while. And I am sort of relieved her pain in this life is over. I don't know if I could have coped in her situation, either.

What makes me say "grr": I see so many women I know in pain, having so much trouble just surviving, just because they chose to stay home with their kids, then had no "skills" when their husbands moved on to younger, prettier, or just different women. I get so angry at society (not the guys, really, most don't set out to hurt anyone else) for penalizing women for wanting to raise their own children, for paying women less all around, and for stacking the deck against single people in general. I am fine--I had an education and marketable skills when my marriage dissolved, and it has all worked out fine--everyone's happier now. But, among my circle of friends, especially those in the organization where I used to work and volunteer, there are so many not that lucky. Some hang on in marriages that are miserable for all involved, others run to the next person they can find, quick, without taking the time to make sure it is the RIGHT person...some fall between the cracks. Sigh.

Fairness. Well, who said life is fair? No one. It isn't. It's why I could not watch the V for Vendetta movie Lee was watching last night (Beccno's favorite--what an odd boy). Too much death of innocent folks who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Too much power madness, which reminds me too much of those in charge in the country where I live. Too much death--a thing I am not uncomfortable with, thanks to my spiritual path, but that bothers me when one human does not value another's life equally to theirs. Too much unfairness. Most days I cope; some days I hit a wall and it seems like too much.

Balance. It's all about cycles. Things are good for me. They aren't for others. When I was a mess, some others were flying high. And most of the time there's both good and bad for all of us. It all balances out. There's birth as well as death, hope as well as despair. That's what our wonderful friends are here to remind us of. All those things. To help keep us grounded, centered, and balanced as the ups and downs of the world go on around us.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Let me think on this a bit. Isn't being a friend in part being the best person we can be at the time? Isn't it more about caring, no matter what, at the end of the day?
I think of my MIL for instance. I love her deeply, for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the fact that she mothered my husband whom I am fortunate enough to adore. She spends so much time being negative and having a "poor me" attitude that sometimes we aren't listening to what she really needs. We have to put up a "self-defense shield."
You can offer all of the information, solutions, advice and support in the world but at the end of the day they a) need to want to listen and b) need to want to help themselves. My MIL is doing neither and that is why her son often can't stand to be in the same room with her (hard when we live in the same house).
I know you to be a true and loyal friend (even to your own detriment sometimes if actions over the last 18 months are any indication) and I think you are sometimes too hard on yourself.
Mucho love from Toronto!!!