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Fall into friendship

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Ode to October

The letter "O" and friendship

In celebration of the month of October, I am dedicating my article to the letter “O” and “Friendship.”

I do so, not just because “O” is the first letter of the month of my birth, but also because the beauty of this vowel rings of connection and friendship—two virtues I admire and continually try to cultivate in my life.

Let’s look at and ponder a bit on the letter “O.”

When two “O's” connect, in algebraic geometry, a magical lemniscate figure 8 occurs, signifying infinity.

I once heard the phrase, “All shapes are made from two things: a straight line and a curve.” So, when my thumb and first finger touch, making an “O” shape, whether it’s obscure or outrageous, I acknowledge this truth.

Indeed, some ancient cultures believe that the first primordial sound was OM.

“O” is the fourth common letter in the English language. Perhaps, like none of her other alphabet sisters and brothers, the letter “O” can convey the full range of human emotions when she flows from the lips.

A good friend can attest to the collective sudden epiphany auditory “O!” sound that echoes with laughter. And, when a friend points out something we hadn’t realized, due to possible obliviousness or obstinacy, the “O?” sound is offered as an official obeisance through pursed lips.

My best friend, Lynn Davis, is known for her elongated “ooooo’s” excitement greeting. A gentle tap on a friend’s shoulder, while gently whispering “ooooo, oooo” in moments of despair and hopelessness can warm the heart and soothe the soul.

The letter “O” is deeply rooted in emotional connection. And, beyond blood relatives, our chosen friends provide us with connections that can last a lifetime.

Speaking on the notion of friendships that continue to grow year after year, the month of October is a great time to harvest the emotional bounty and celebrate the gift of friendships.

Friendship associations that might be forged from encounters as a result of being work companions, musical arts patrons, sports team members, or introductions through online gamer connections can have a lasting effect in our lives. Friendships begin with a yearning to find comfort through the sharing of spiritual philosophies, discussion on the rewards and challenges of parenting, professional aspiration, or isolation that can come from the solace of reconciling and acknowledging our own mortality and aging in the company of another.

It can feel like kismet, when we meet someone to share intellectual musings, read poetry with, roam the Red Mountain as hiking companions, talk politics, and endulge in epicurean delights. And, my all-time favorite friendship pastime is to sit in silence with a friend, doing absolutely nothing, while still enjoying each other’s company.

Connecting is the key to launching and maintaining a friendship.

Time and research have led me to believe that enduring friendship is becoming an uncommon experience for many these days. The frenzied pace and casual attitudes of modern life have made enduring friendship a rare—and possibly endangered—experience.

Good times, bad times, hard times, periodic jaunts together, and time spent laughing until you are crying your eyes out, are fleeting experiences for many.

A truly “good” friend is a person who knows us better than anyone—sometimes better than we know ourselves. They step into the river of our life and often help us navigate its current.

I am indeed blessed to have a tribe of soul-friends of diverse backgrounds, gender identity and ethnicity. But, they did not occur by happenstance. Being willing to open up and invest in honesty, was paramount. 

Just like life, our friendships have a cycle all their own. Relationships are birthed—they mature, flourish and grow and eventually end. This became clear to me at the passing of dearest friends, Cindy Clemens and Arica Demarcus-Dajou. Although they are no longer with us, we feel their influence.

As the season of autumn begins to oscillate around us, causing the leaves to fall from the trees and bringing shorter and cooler days, I am wishing you and your best friends, an outpouring of October magic.

To contact Janice Brooks, kindly email her at theliterarycafeutah@gmail.com or visit her website: theliterary cafe.com

"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."  ‒ Kahlil Gibran

  • Friendship roses
  • Harvesting the bounties of time and friendship
  • Fall into friendship
  • Celebrate and remember
  • Lynn with leaves
  • Honoring Cindy Clemens
  • Friendship is a sheltering tree
  • Utah Humanities group and all that jazz
  • The glow of friendship
  • Remembering Arica Demarcus-Dajou