friend thirteen.

October 31, 2011 at 12:06 am Leave a comment

lucky thirteen, “alice,” is a woman from my quaker meeting. her laugh and smile always makes me think she is younger than she is, which is actually pretty common for me in my meeting and in san francisco in general.

she’s really really smart in a way that one could find intimidating if they wanted. she thinks hard and long about things, and her insights are always very rich. she’s also very kind and caring and that shows up hugely in her interactions with adults and kids.

one little crimp, though, in our relationship (and as i write this, i’m thinking about how it’s funny that i am about to discuss with her this crimp via an email in which i ask her permission to put it on the internet for all the world to see. oh, the times we live in!) has to do with what i think is our shynesses. early in both of our times coming to quaker meeting, we were attending some “worship sharing” sessions. (worship sharing is a quaker term for a specific form of conversation about spiritual matters. questions are posed and participants speak out of the silence, generally only speaking once to the question until all have spoken.) we were getting to know each other really well. one day, during quaker meeting, i came over and sat next to her. this was the first time i’d ever sat next to anyone. i’d had people sit next to me, but for some reason i viewed quaker meeting as something like a public bus (stephen colbert would understand) or a school cafeteria and that you shouldn’t sit next to people you didn’t arrive with until there were no other seats available. so, at the end of the meeting, we hugged, and i said, “don’t worry. i didn’t mean to sit next to you.” as soon as i said it, i realized the ridiculousness of the statement and my assumptions up until that point. and i saw it in her face, too. “i liked that you sat next to me,” she said, puzzled by why i was stating that it was accidental.

i am not sure i’ve ever completely recovered from that. she’s welcomed me and talked with me, and we’ve been on long car trips together, but i think i broke the burgeoning bond that day and have never known quite how to get it back. obviously, posting about it all over the internet will help things.

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friend thirty-two. friend thirty-eight.

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