The Jewel in the Crown
Yesterday, while on Dictionary.com looking for the right word yet again, I spotted one of their little quizzes, and curious, clicked for the answer to their question: What word has 76 different meanings? My first thought was, thank God English is my first language. Can you imagine trying to accommodate from a different language, the notion that one word, in this case, “run,” could be used 76 different ways?
But then my mind returned to the subject at hand, friendship. I often find myself writing about it, because that particular arrangement among human beings is a stand-alone in my book. Within it, we come closest to the magnificent beings we truly are, for in the simplest of tributes, friends are those who always accept us, a commitment that awes us in its generosity and ennobles us with its trust. Let’s face it; anyone can be an acquaintance or associate, a lover or a mate, but few people reach the rarefied stature of true friend in another’s life.
In my novels, I always have a character who exemplifies that role because for me it is the jewel in the crown of human relationships. Perhaps continued exposure will help us remember where true friend lives in us.
We struggle with love as parents, husbands, and wives, the most critical relationships that confront us, those relationships entangling us in webs of needs and fears. But true friends, we neither damn with expectations, nor diminish with distrust. With them, we know from deep within us that in that moment we call on them, we will exist for each other as selfless, synonymous with unconditional love.
War creates friends. Disaster creates friends. And even the backside of wilderness, in the little farming community where I lived created friends. It isn’t that friendship lives only in tribulation, but rather it appears that something has to show us where it lives in us.
Joseph Roux reminds us that we have a ways to go in grasping the true significance of friendship, when he notes:
We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence.
Imagine, 76 meanings for the word “run” and not one to signify the loss of someone who grants us a selfless experience of Love.
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