This is our truth, tell us yours
The Guardian had a weird article on the weekend from someone who discovered casual sex by using an online hookup site.
This is possibly the least surprising thing ever; finding sex on a hookup site is like catching fish by angling – kind of what you would expect to happen.
Findng friendship on a hook up site is much more surprising.
It happened however.
Dannie Abse, who died just a few days ago, wrote about the happy chance of finding friendship in unfamiliar circumstances in a poem about meeting his wife, the brilliant art historian Joan Abse –
because this, because that,
because on high the Blessèd
were playing ring-a-ring-o’-roses,
because millions of miles below,
during the Rasoumovsky,
the cellist, pizzicati,
played a comic, wrong note,
you looked to the right, luckily,
I looked to the left, luckily.
Of course Dannie would be the first to acknowledge that happy chances only occur if individuals are prepared to notice the possibilities. If Dannie or Joan had been scornful of the wrong note, or angry, or dismissive, they might never have seen the twinkle in the eyes that told them there was a friendship to be made.
Friendship is a thing we make by being willing to smile, to see in others the optimism we wish to portray to the world.
And on the days when the black dog comes calling, that friendship, that smile, those memories of the bum note that was responded to with love and generosity are the things that strip the black dog of his power and menace.
Being grateful for the gift of friendship is not a duty, but an investment, and a return on someone else’s investment of friendship. Not luck, not a lottery ticket, but a dividend that results from wise investment choices.