What does it mean to have a friend? To be a friend? I mean a true friend. There is no guidebook on how to be there, to support another person. No one tells you “this is how friendship works…” growing up. It is just something you are supposed to know intuitively right?
Couple years ago, I dislocated my right pinky playing soft ball. This was the first time I’d seen my first two knuckles laying on top of the last one. I quickly pulled the two back in place and wrapped them up with athletic tape. A simple fumble in terms of injury but there was something profound that I learned from the healing process of my pinky.
As I was having a difficult time doing the simplest tasks which required two hands, I was learning more and more that my one hand had to adjust to the absence of the other. This might seem as a far fetched idea but I didn’t look at my hands as two tentacles from one body, they became a metaphor for the bestest of two friends. To go on any further with this idea, I fully understand the strange and delusional aspect of this topic but I couldn’t think of any other metaphor to describe the support that my hands both gave and received to achieve their goal.
As I was struggling to wash my hands or brush my teeth, I was seeing over and over how my left hand was taking very cautious care of my right hand. One learned to do the others’ tasks until it was healed. One had to wash the other when it couldn’t wash itself. It was a very ‘touching’ analogy for the essential lesson of being a friend, for the essence of friendship.
If you want to have a friend, be one. If you don’t know how, learn from your hands.