Beautiful shorthand

Some people are afraid of spiders, snakes or tiny microbes that live in the soil.  Me? I’m terrified of loneliness- probably because I spent the first half  of my life feeling very lonely. Today I find myself surrounded  by a wealth of incredible friends who have grown from being tenuous acquaintances and friends-of-friends to the kinds of friends I’d lay my life  down for.

I spent the day with some of these friends yesterday, some of us in the hot Australian sun barbecuing lamb and snags for lunch, and others huddled around the laptop in their PJ’s  in cool Canada. It was a perfect day!

While our combined children showed each-other treasures over Skype and husbands and wives shuffled between positions at the barbie and feeding the aforementioned children, to catching up on all things Canadian, I marvelled to myself at the beautiful shorthand that decades of friendship can bring: the one-word catch-phrase that sums up an ongoing frustration or a two sentence short-hand for how a health condition is progressing, the knowing shrug that the kids don’t notice but that communicates parental concern or pride at how the girls are settling in their new home or how the boys are still peeing in the pot-plants. I love that we can tell each-other how we believe in each-other, how we can cry together and laugh till our sides hurt because we have built a friendship over time and circumstance that has come to be both a lifeline and a refuge, a place to thrash out differences of opinion and to share common joys and common pain.

I wish I could have told that lonely little girl that all this was waiting for her, but she wouldn’t have believed it anyway. This beautiful shorthand, this immense treasure that has stockpiled over the years, is one of my deepest joys…and, when friends move away, one of my deepest sadnesses.

Thank God I live in the days of the internet and mobile phones, where all I need is one brief moment each day to connect and the shorthand does the rest….


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 10:02:16

    I have just discovered that I have missed a whole pile of your posts! So having a big read catch up.
    Loving your writing Ari. Keep it up xo



  2. Michelle
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 19:42:58

    Hi Arianne, you make me want to talk to you! I love all the shorthand we have together, may it only grow and grow!

    Good job with the blog! Looks gorgeous.



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