yesterday's blog

I missed it.  By five hours.  

Yesterday was yet another Stratford Day: the drive there, lunch, the play (The Taming of the Shrew), the drive back, dinner for my dear driver, and collapse.  And I missed the Blue Jays game.  You can't have everything. I try, though.

But I was thinking. About friendship. I looked it up just now:

Friend:  a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.• a person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help: join the Friends of Guilford Free Library.• a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side: she was unsure whether he was friend or foe.• a familiar or helpful thing: he settled for that old friend the compensation grant.• (often as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across: my friends, let me introduce myself.• a contact associated with a social networking website: all of a sudden you've got 50 friends online who need to stay connected.  (online Dictionary)

I'll add a couple of useful references:

"A friend in need is a friend indeed."

"A stranger is a friend I haven't met yet."

"You find out who your friends are."

Because I was still thinking about my erstwhile friend who died, lost to me long before she left.  And that led me to thinking of other friends who are still on this planet but distant but who are also lost, though not with bitterness, but whom I have lost nonetheless.  Separation and distance do that.  Age, too.  Energy and health dwindle as the years go by, money, too, and suddenly, or not, ten years slip away since you last beheld that friendly face and spoke meaningful words. 

One of the reasons the custom of exchanging Christmas cards continues is that people want to reassure each other not only of continuing friendship but of continuity, period.  A card says, "I'm still here!" and hopes you are, too. It doesn't help to fill in the gaps. So then people, even people who don't write and who certainly don't write letters, add what I call a generic letter (one size fits all, one prescription for everyone), summarizing the year that was  - just the good news, please, unless a significant someone has died  in the past twelve months, out of earshot or an obit. I started writing generic letters several years ago.

Then I began to write more regular generics - catch-ups, I called them - to fill in the blanks in the intervening twelve months between the Christmas announcements. And that, in time, led to blogs. Now I am hard pressed to write a catchup, because I try to catch up every day.  Almost every day. I'm still talking about friendship, I think. Because there are people who used to be close friends but whom I have not seen for - oh, my! - over ten years, and who I think are still alive, and whom I still miss. 

Hello there!  This blog is for you.