The soul selects her own society, then shuts the door. To her divine majority-present no more. Unmoved a chariot be pausing at her lower gate. Unmoved, an emperor be kneeling upon her mat. I’ve seen her, from an ample nation, choose one. Then, close the valves of her attention like stone. -Emily Dickinson-
I have never been given to having a lot of “best friends”. I mean, something is either the best or it isn’t. Right? What is “best” anyway?
I LOVE Emily Dickinson. She says so many things in such a succinct, but mysterious way. Now for you English major types out there, Yes, I KNOW the background of this poem and all of the things it COULD represent. For me, it speaks perfectly to the whole “best friend” issue. So, really, just work with me, okay?
Don’t get me wrong, I have friends, lots of them and plenty of acquaintances to fill in the gaps. We talk. We work. We volunteer together. We sing together. We have a good time. I have been blessed with numerous friends through the years. They have walked beside me through good and bad times. They have offered a listening ear, a warm hug, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold. Some of my friends have “best” friends. For a long time, I felt like I had missed out on the “best friend” department, and, for the most-part, it was okay. I’m a pretty complicated person and very, very private, so probably NOT the easiest person to get to know. Maybe my state of “no best friend”, was about me and my unwillingness to stick my head out of my shell for long enough to be “known” by anyone.
Then, one beautiful day, in the most unusual of places, under the strangest of circumstances, I met the most amazing woman. She scared me to death because she just sort of came crashing into my little safe universe. And STAYED. Hmmm, now what? All of a sudden, I found myself in this great relationship with a friend who not only stayed, but genuinely wanted to be with me! I was still reluctant to believe she was real. It has been years now and she has been by my side through thick and thin, just like others before her.
But she is different.
Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t two peas-in-a-pod. Our personalities are very different. Our perspectives on many issues vary. Our core values, morals and character: they are the same. We would both die for our kids. We love chocolate. She has integrity, poise, stamina and a level head. She is smart, funny, talented and engaging. She is a good balance to my intensity. But, I have other friends with those characteristics too. So, what is it? Really?
We have a history now. I can “let my hair down”. With her, I can just be “Me”. In fact, she helped me find “Me” again. I had been MIA for a long time when she showed up. I don’t have to explain, she just knows. I don’t have to wonder if she is going to keep things to herself. She is a vault. She is a soft, safe place to land. I know her faults and she can certainly list mine. Together, we can sit in silence and understand each other completely. We can talk for hours and never tire. With her, it’s okay to make a mistake, to BE and ADMIT that I’m wrong.
In short- She just “gets” me and I just “get” her. And, THAT makes my heart happy. That makes her the “best” for me.
The valves of my attention are closed-like stone.
I have chosen her.
Present no more.