Friday, March 7, 2014

A Request of My Friends

"May I make a request of my friends? Would you put some of my words into songs?" 

      What do you think this request by Hafiz means? To remember me when I'm gone? To think of me when you feel joyous and want to sing? To know my poetry in a more soulful way?
       It's sometimes difficult to find friends on your wavelength or even friends who would care enough to honor a request, whatever it might be. In Ancient Greek, the same word was used for friend and lover. And yet to find a true friend may be even more rare. The book that really exemplified this correlation for me was The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis in which he said friendship was the most unnatural love and thus the hardest to come across in a true form.
       The four loves were:
  • Storge (affection)  is fondness through familiarity between people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance. (I think of a co-worker.) 
  • Eros (romance) is the sense of 'being in love' or 'loving' someone. (I think of a significant other.) 
  • Agape (unconditional love) is love that brings forth caring regardless of the circumstance. (I think of a parent and a child.) 
  • Philia (friendship) is the love between friends, a deeply appreciative love. 
      There are a few things I wish to share from the book:
    “In friendship we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting - any of these chances might have kept us apart..."  
     If you meet a true friend, it's definitely serendipity. I've always been a huge fan of Jonathan Larson's musical RENT, in which the dedication simply reads: for my friends. In fact, the people present at the Life Support meeting in the show (they introduce themselves), carry the names of Larson's friends who died of AIDS. Even one of his lyrics speaks to the good fortune of chance that allows you to meet dear friends: "Why did Mimi knock on Roger's door/And Collins choose that phone booth/Back where Angel set up his drums?
       Friendship can be about the music, the second glance, the magic of sharing in something, "but
friendship must be about something, even if it is only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice" (Lewis). And maybe that's both the first and final test, if your friend or lover (of if you're lucky, both) can sit back and talk about white mice knocking down dominoes, and your happiness stems from just being sure of their presence, congrats. 

With a Little Help From My Friends (1967), The Beatles

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