|No bird is an island|
The quote above was the teaser in my daily email from Tricycle Magazine this morning. Wow. The idea sounded fantastic to me and sent my brain on a tangent about relationships and what it means to be a good friend.
When I finally got around to reading the article, I found that the quote did not mean quite what I thought it did. "...the Buddha’s statement refers to him, the Enlightened One, as the true spiritual friend because he guides us on the path to liberation." But the article went on to detail a spiritual friendship between two women monks, and deepened my thoughts about friendship and community (whatever community means to you--seems like the term gets tossed around a lot these days.)
"Community life does not just entail living with other people, but being a community. Living in the same place is very different from being a community. When you are in a community, your awareness goes out to the other people you live with—you see who needs encouragement, who needs guidance, and who needs a laugh."
There's been a lot in the news lately about loneliness and aging. Loneliness Can be Deadly for Elders;Friends are the Antidote is the title of an article by Paula Span published on the eve of the new year. There were similar pieces in the NYTimes in April, September, and December. The message in all of this writing kind of validates my misinterpretation of the Buddha's quote, or at least gives weight to what I thought I read over my coffee.
I've had the good fortune to spend time with friends quite a bit this holiday season. I've enjoyed every minute. Thank you.