The Truth Hurts.

posted in: Day In The Life, Tips 7
Anchor, 1861. Photo: Wikipedia.
Anchor, 1861. Photo: Wikipedia.

 

Being a good friend is not easy; sometimes you have to deliver bad news.

My best friend sat me down the other day and gave me a bit of a talking to. This person loves me a great deal and his decision to tell me the unadorned truth about what he was seeing with me lately was born out of compassion and care; of this I am certain. Some people like to boss folks around, some folks delight in others’ pain; this is never the case with him. He read me because he cares.

He pointed out that I have boundary issues. I rarely set them and when I do, I dismantle them with almost comedic haste. I say yes when I should say no to another project, another class, another date, another lunch of chocolate and coffee when I swore I’d eat a salad; another coat. Wait, what? Mm. I have a thing with coats like some girls have a thing with shoes. I say yes because I can handle it and most of the time, I can. But my candle burns at both ends and lately I’ve been going after the middle. It’s a perfectly good middle!

Oh, I thrashed. I argued. I justified. But he was right.¬†What do we do when we’re given the truth, however lovingly it’s delivered? We can’t change everything in a day and it’s foolish to think so, foolish to make some New Year’s resolution style proclamation. The words “Starting today, I…” are dangerous, useless. The only way to do something about what’s broken is to take action — or maybe just an ax — to them. We mustn’t just make a resolution because talk isn’t cheap; it’s expensive. It costs you. Change happens in deed only.

I went some time without a best friend. It just shook out that way after college. My ex-husband was my bestie for many years, but that’s hardly true now. Having a BFF today is worth its weight in gold even though friendship isn’t something we can weight. We can feel it, though, and in the feeling we can see its shape.

It kind of looks like an anchor.

Meet Philip Larkin.

posted in: Art, Philip Larkin 3
Philip Larkin
My little puppy. Photo: Me.

 

I found a photograph of a little doggie at a flea market. Wanna see him? Okay, here he is:

I got him for $25 dollars. As you can see, he was irresistible. The cock of the head, the sparkly eyes. He had to be mine. I thought for a second he might’ve been that famous 1930’s Hollywood dog, Asta. But he’s not. He’s just a little dog. What’s neat is that his picture was taken by a Chicago photography studio that no longer exists, somewhere up north. The name was stamped on the back. Abbot Photography, I think?

I spared no expense with the frame. I went to a trusted frame shop and did him right. I feel like I rescued him, which of course makes him “a rescue.” Now he’s home. He’s warm and dry, beloved and safe. Safe in the home of a woman who really needs him.

I named him after my favorite poet: Philip Larkin.