The Holidays are fast approaching, and the words of an old Christmas carol are stuck in my head:”Tidings of Comfort and Joy”. I experienced both Comfort and Joy today, and I realized that those unique sensations don’t come as often as we would wish.
One of my friends, whom I have been lucky enough to call a true friend for over 50 years now, stopped in for a visit. He brought his wonderful wife, and they spent the afternoon with me and my partner. The ease with which we can share time and space is significant to me. I am totally ME. I have no pretense or artifice with them. I laugh out loud, and joke, and tease, and am as obnoxious as I want to be. I do not fear that they will not love me as I am. This is Comfort.
When these friends are with me, I feel the happiness of connection. We are connected by memories, shared experiences, common attitudes, and love. We can talk about everything and nothing. We can rail at the ways of the world, and smugly assert that we have been lucky to have lived during the good old days. We can support each other’s creative ideas, and sympathize with each other’s troubles. There is a timeless quality to our visits; we are on this fragile planet hurtling through Space, yet all we care about is what each is about to say. The words are precious and lift the spirit. This is Joy.
I met my friend in High School. We became friends because we both loved to write. We shared Journalism classes and By-Liners club meetings and Advanced Composition class. We knew we would write great things someday. Later, as adults, we wrote for a small paper and fought the good fight against the large corporate newspapers. We have always been free thinkers and revolutionaries, and we have always tried to change our little corners of the world for the better. Hippies. Non-conformists.Students. Workers. Parents. Creative Artists. We have been all these things, and more. My fervent hope is that we will continue to learn and strive and discuss and share for a long, long time. Thinking that we will is comforting to me. Knowing my dear friend is a real joy.