It’s something that I feel I’ll be exploring and uncovering for the rest of my life. What does it mean - to have a friend, to be a friend?
One thing that I can say almost for certain is that it’s about being in action. About looking for that place where you can make a difference for your friend. Help them, encourage them, hold a space for them: whichever kind of space they need. And all the while keeping questions like this in the forefront: “In what way can I most honour and serve my friend? How may I help, in some small way, with the unfolding of my friend's highest potential?”
Much of the work that we have to do, we do alone. By this this I mean our real work: the work of discovering ourselves, and of then finding a way to become an expression of what we have discovered.
Yet to do this, to truly see ourselves as we are (in all our haphazard glory!) we need good, clear mirrors. The gift of seeing ourselves as others see us is unfortunately not one that we are given at birth. It is a gift that our true friends, whenever and wherever we find them, give to us. Our true friends reflect both who we are, and who we can become. Not a “better” version of ourselves, necessarily: just one with a broader scope, a clearer eye, a firmer step and a lot less fear.
At least this is what my friends have given to me. Two of them in particular, that I’m thinking of today. A pair of fine musicians who really need no introduction.
So thank you, Heath Cullen and Slim Pickens. Thank you for opening up your doors, and your hearts, to me. For stepping back a little way along those roads you’ve already travelled, that you know so well, and walking a few miles with me. For sharing your wisdom, and your commitment to your craft. For standing with me so confidently, in a way that has fed and nourished my own confidence.
Think where man’s glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends
Yes, gentlemen: this is who you are, and this is the difference you’ve made for me. Long may you run!