Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beautiful Hands

Beautiful Hands 

This is the kind of friend you are: 

Without making me realize 
my soul's anguish 

you slip into my house at night
and, while I am sleeping 

you silently carry off 
all my suffering 
in your beautiful hands. 

        I think it is easy to associate a lover with the comfort you feel in a loving touch, the safety you feel in a warm embrace, the reassurance you feel in a long hug. Sometimes, we forget to honor that friends touch and embrace us too, though it may not be physical. A true friend will carry off your anguish, even if all that means is they sat close and listened. 
        I found a touching account of love in friendship. It is the dedication in East of Eden from John Steinbeck to his friend Pascal “Pat” Covici. At one point, Pat asked Steinbeck to make him a box; Steinbeck joked that the only specification was that Pat shouldn’t be able to fit inside it. 
To Pat - You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, ‘Why don’t you make something for me?’ 
I asked you what you wanted, and you said, ‘A box.’ ‘What for?’ ‘To put things in.’ ‘What kind of things?’ ‘Whatever you have,’ you said.
 Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad. Evil thoughts and good thoughts – the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.
 And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.
 And still the box is not full.

        Here's a nice Chinese Proverb: "To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon." I like the concluding line "on the wings of a dragon", and what an honor that would be.

Selected Lyrics from For Good, Wicked 

I've heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you.

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you'll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.

           A true friend will rewrite your story, just by being there to share in the joys, sadness, and randomness that life encompasses.

For Good, Wicked
Original Broadway Cast 

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