A friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.-- Walter Winchell (1897-1972) US journalist, broadcaster

Don't allow the grass to grow on the path of friendship. --Native American Proverb

Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can trust my friends. . . . These people force me to examine myself, encourage me to grow. --Cher

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business. --Mahatma Gandhi

And my personal favorite:
Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time -- like to have a friend takes time. --Georgia O'Keeffe

Friendship is always a form of love.

The difference between the love of an acquaintance, the love of a good friend, the love of a best friend, the love of a spouse and the love of a good god (whichever) is in the amount of one's own wrongdoing they are willing to endure without taking their love away.

Endurance means to accept others' wrongdoing as thoughtlessness or miscomprehension, without blaming it on antipathy or cruelty, believing that it does not come from the core of their personality but from its surface. The core cannot be seen. Only the traffic through the surface can be experienced and accessed. What happens underneath one can only believe in.

To be friends means to love. To love means to endure. To endure means to believe in the other.

To be friends also means knowing the threshold of endurance, and to abandon the other when it is crossed.

To love from the heart means to put the threshold as high as humanly possible.

No human being can love perfectly. Only a being who cannot take any damage and who cannot feel any pain can.

This should be a treat for the (live nude?) amateur theologists.

Some views on friendship:
True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable. -- Dave Tyson Gentry

A friend that ain't in need is a friend indeed. -- Frank McKinney Hubbard ("Kin Hubbard")

You can always tell a real friend: when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job. -- Laurence J. Peter

Friendship is an arrangement by which we undertake to exchange small favors for big ones. -- Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell -- you see, I have friends in both places. -- Mark Twain

Friendship among women is only a suspension of hostilities. -- Comte de Rivarol (1753-1801)

A woman is never quite so old as her dearest friend says she is. -- Dr Laurence J. Peter

He's the kind of man who picks his friends -- to pieces. -- Mae West

With friends such as these, who needs enemies? -- Author unknown.

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better. -- Ed Howe

Nothing so fortifies a friendship as a belief on the part of one friend that he is superior to the other. -- Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends. -- Samuel Pepys (1632-1703)

There are no strangers here -- only friends we have not met. -- Author unkknown.

Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighborhood. -- Louise Beal

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them. -- Duo de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

Platonic friendship: The interval between the introduction and the first kiss. -- Sophie Irene Loeb

Love demands infinitely less than friendship. -- George Jean Nathan

The truth that is supressed by friends is the readiest weapon of the enemy. -- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

A true friend will see you through when others see that you are through. -- Author unknown

We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them. -- Evelyn Waugh

One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible -- Henry Adams

There are three kinds of friends: best friends, guest friends and pest friends. -- Author unknown

Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead. -- Chinese Proverb

True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it be lost. -- Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832)

Friendships, like marriages, are dependant on avoiding the unforgivable. -- John D. MacDonald

Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth. -- Horace Walpole (1717-1797)

To find a friend one must close one eye -- to keep him, two. -- Norman Douglas

One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human. -- George Santayana

In politics . . . shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. -- Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

There is no stronger bond of friendship than a mutual enemy. -- Frankfort Moore

If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships. -- Bertrand Russell

If all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. -- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Against a foe I can myself defend, --
But Heaven protect me from a blundering friend! -- D'Aarcy W. Thompson

The essence of true friendship is to make allowance for another's little lapses. -- David Storey

If we all said to people's faces what we say behind one another's backs, society would be impossible. -- Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850),

He is a fine friend. He stabs you in the front. -- Leonard Louis Levinson
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives."He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.

He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends.

He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.

I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.

When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled."Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life with friendship.

Source: Anon.

Will the friendships I have endure through the month, through the year, and through my life? The fragile balance of time spent together and platonic affection for each other will be lost when I begin to invest all of my time in grad school, in a significant other, in my children, in my aging parents and in my career. Where will that leave us? Are we not the best of friends? And yet where will we be in thirty years? Will you remember me still? Will we keep in touch?

Life will take us on separate paths, and I will only walk with you a short while together. I hope that our times together will be well spent and full of laughter. But thinking about my life with no you makes me sad.

In a blink of an eye, time will flow by, never reversing. Before we both know it, we won’t even remember each others’ faces.

Friendship is staying up until 2am on a school night with all your homework left to do because your friend is upset, depressed, and crying. It is the smile that comes across your face when the phone rings on a boring afternoon. It is the late summer nights sitting by the pool eating fresh cut fruit with the flickering light of lit tiki torches surrounding you. It is the comfortable silence on long car rides. Friendship is going to Perkins at night and both ordering chicken quesadillas. It is that shoulder to cry on when you are feeling down. It is spending the night with people you don’t even know just because your friend wants you to be there. It is having someone know what’s on your mind without saying a word. Friendship is knowing it’s never too late to call. It is a warm blanket on a cold winter night. It is an extra scoop of ice cream at the local shoppe. It is the super-fan who’s always cheering for you at the games. It is driving around with no particular place to go, just listening to your favorite song – Get Low. It is an umbrella to keep you from life's storms. It is taking a 6 hour drive just for an overnight visit and the long distance bill at the end of the month. Friendship is the smile when your friends read your English paper and see that it’s about them. It is the love and laughter that fills up all the empty spaces in the Swiss cheese of life.

Friendships exist in many forms.

I will attempt to classify them here according to the experiences I have gained through my, until now, relatively short life. As suggested by a fellow noder, I will also try to accompany each "class" with some appropriate examples.

Temporary friendship:

This kind of friendship is probably the most frequent in existence all throughout your life. At several times will you meet someone new, strike up a conversation of sorts only to realize that you have very little in common. Obviously this can hardly be classified as a friendship. However, this type of encounter is at least metaphorically close to meeting someone, inviting them over, and then deciding that never seeing them again would be too soon. Again, this is a harsh exaggeration and rarely have I myself experienced this kind of friendship. Whether you are on the receiving or dispensing end of the brush off, is relatively irrelevant. Fact is that hardly any kind of emotional bond arises from such a short encounter, and if it does, then it is likely based on a pre-existing infatuation from one of the involved parties. As such, being the person who is brushed off is of course not a comfortable thing, but not soul-crushing either.

Example: Coming up with examples in this particular category can be tricky, because in my opinion, temporary friendships are rarely memorable. And if they are then often I wish to forget them because I was the one who found myself uncomfortable within it. I do however remember one particlar person in school which I had a very rough time of avoiding. To set things straight, I never actively avoided the person or hid from him, but if I were to spot him before he spotted me I often contemplated the reason for me being wherever I was and if there was still a reason to be there. He was all-in-all a friendly guy, but he simply couldn't talk about anything except this one game. I'm probably also to blame for not trying hard enough to steer the conversation a certain way or not having the heart to tell him that he was becomming annoying with this particular topic. I wonder whatever happened to him...

One-sided friendship:

This is almost my personal favorite as I've been exposed to this friendship to quite a degree. It's the kind of friendship where one of the participants is unaware or in denial concerning the actual degree of friendship involved. This kind of friendship often evolves from surroundings where both parties often meet due to some circumstance unrelated to the friendship. A good example is either some kind of academic surrounding (school or university for example), work or even physical activity (soccer practice etc.).

As opposed to the previous described friendship, being of either side of the friendship is very relevant. One party is involved as far as talking, sharing and otherwise interacting with the other party without any real intention of furthering the friendship (let's call this party B). The other party is equally involved but with an interest in furthering it (party A). This is the deciding factor between being on either end of the friendship.

A tell tale sign of this is one of the parties involved arranging social engagements where the other is not invited or even informed. The scariest thing about this kind of friendship is that it can evolve so far that party A becomes very aware of social gatherings - even discussed right in front of their nose - and still not being invited. Of course, the more this continues the less awkward it becomes for party B. But of course, by this time party A is well enough into denial about the state of the friendship that party A probably doesn't even care. The point is that party B doesn't dislike party A as they can get along well, but there is no interest at all to continue the pleasantries outside the circumstance they normally meet in. Personally I detest being in this kind of friendship even though I am fully aware of it. Not because Party B is malicious in any way. I personally know lot's of people I like but have no further interest in.
I suppose it concerns the feeling of being fooled and no doubt my personal experience relating to this kind of friendship.

Example: Practically every "friend" I had in a two year period in school falls under this category. People I thought I got along great with and enjoyed talking to. But no - whenever anything outside school was organized which wasn't organized by the school I was "oddly" enough never invited. I partially blame myself for not prodding enough which might have helped. Anyway - I still often see these people at reunions, and still enjoy talking to them, but beneath the surface I always remember how things were. Nevertheless - I hold no spite against them as such stuff will bring you nowhere. The "friends" I'm talking about ranged all the way from the jock-type people, to average students and even social outcasts. I'll never forget that in my attempt to befriend and socialize a (let's say) "socially challenged" individual I only found myself "backstabbed" in his hopes of gaining a little recognition.

Casual Friendship:

The key difference between this and the former friendship is that both parties exhibit at least some amount of interest in furthering the friendship. Be it just inviting the other party over or occasionally calling the other party on the phone. Again, the extent of involvement exhibited by both parties can vary a lot, but some amount must exist in my opinion to call it a casual friendship.

Example: Now we're getting to the good stuff. A lot of my casual friendships go hand in hand with permanent ones. I am thinking of a few particular people I also met in school who I really enjoy being with yet never really open up or seem to listen to "reason" concerning various issues. This one guy I at first found to be not shy, but still not very outward. Yet - he has a lot of admirable qualities. He's friendly and kind, but he isn't great at taking care of himself and seems to refuse to listen to any advice concerning it. Nevertheless - I really like him and that's what counts.

Permanent Friendship:

I have no real label for this friendship so I decided to call it permanent even though that is "wrong" in my opinion. But it was either that or call it an intimate friendship which is also believe to be "wrong". The important point to be made concerning this friendship is that it's a friendship that extends beyond casual limits. A friendship that doesn't rely on the convenience of temporary surroundings, such as living close or often seeing each other due to various circumstances. In my opinion a deeper understanding of either each other or of a specific topic is also a common theme within this kind of friendship, or perhaps an unspoken bond. The parties involved do not necessarily need to share feelings or other intimate details for this kind of friendship to evolve but it's much more likely to happen in this kind of friendship in my opinion.

Example: One particularly springs to mind here. I first met this guy during a social gathering at a friend. He also wasn't shy but again not very outward. My brother seemed to talk more with him than me and I honestly didn't pay a great deal of attention to him. Then, a few years have passed and due to various circumstances he starts attending the same school as me. Oddly enough our friendship had a sort of rocky start with him holding a social event and again me not being invited. However, soon afterwards we grew very close, driving to school together, hanging out almost all the time and talking a lot about more themes that I can remember. We now live far apart and only speak every couple of months, but even so - I still feel like I am on exactly the same wavelength as I always was with this guy... And it makes me smile...

Each friendship can easily falter. I have a few friends abroad that I highly appreciate, but I do not converse with them on a regular basis unless I come close by or there is a special occasion. I do not feel I've become less friends with these people and I of course want to keep them as friends, but on the other hand I'd rather invest my time and effort to make new friends and keep them where I am now instead of artificially keeping distant ones alive. I guess what I'm trying to say is I doubt I can keep me and my friends from growing apart just by calling or writing to them on a regular basis. If we grow apart then that's fate and we'll either find a new common ground or rarely speak again.

Frustration is never so keen as when the end's in sight but out of reach! A resounding chorus of "Damnit" echoes in my head as I wait for a call, a message, some sign that the obvious is, in fact, real. Years of worst case scenarios pound behind my eyes, and how else could I be? Somehow, this man sneaked into my existence.

I thought we were friends. And we were, or are. I'm not sure anymore. The tie that grew during coffee and phone calls changed to something else. The physical awareness, the sweet sparks of sexual tension begged to be explored. Restraint was provided by wedding bands. No touching then, of the bodies, but no rule against touching of spirits. We were bonded by our passionless lives, by the angst of knowing our marriages were shot, dying on the vine. Somehow, even that grew.

By time and turns, we recognized the other's soul. Like those stupid "best friend" hearts with a jagged crack separating the two halves, we fit the other's cracks and flaws. We push the other, pull and tug and infuriate the other, then hold and soothe. I have never felt so touched. And it terrifies me the same way it thrills me.

He calls me his best friend. Yeah, right. What friends do you lie in bed with, watching the leaves outside my window? What friends do you hold as if you couldn't let them go if you tried? Who do you tell your darkest secrets to, then worry if they still love you? Who do you confess your love to? What makes you think this is friendship? Sweetheart, this is the real thing. How that happened, I couldn't say, but it's irrelevant.

I want this man. In the quiet corners of my mind, I wonder which of us deludes ourself more, he with his friendship, or I with my love. There is no easy answer. Sometimes, I am as certain as the sun. Others, I'm sure I'm delusional. I've tried to tell myself this is too complicated, surely not worth the trouble. And he is an idiot, incurable. Then, when we are together, it ceases to matter. When we are in the same room, the entire universe dissolves around us, leaving a crystallized perfection behind. Everything, for just a while, is in harmony.

I am dying for the day when that feeling can last more than an afternoon. When I can simply collapse into it, and not dread the time I must leave it behind. I want him. I love him. I just wish he knew how much he loves me.

Love hard today, for death rules the avenue.

My closest friend died June 10, 2009. She was 62 years old. She dropped over dead of an aneurysm in her brain. No warning. I could not write. Until now.

She and I met when she was 16 and I was 18, on our third day as freshmen at Stanford University. She was a little tiny thing, but very determined. She announced to me upon our first meeting that we were to be friends, and she was certainly right about that.

We were separated almost all our lives. After we graduated from Stanford, I got married, and she moved to Massachusetts, where she too married. We never used the telephone a lot....she didn't ever have money, and long distance was expensive, back in the day. Then, it was paper letters. (When she died she left an entire box of my old letters.) Then, email. When she died, we were emailing about twice a week. (I remember how often I referenced things I had written on this site, and how that irritated her.)

Her daughter told me that she didn't think her mom would have survived, if something had happened to me. I'm still trying to figure out whether I have survived the corresponding loss. I realized after she died that at any given time I spent perhaps 65% of my interior time composing letters to her. I'd see something that would interest her (she was supremely intelligent); I'd see something we'd discussed (and there was almost nothing we didn't discuss in those 46 years).

Or I'd think of some argument I'd made that I wanted, now, to nuance, part of that endless, reiterative, lifelong conversation. Without her I don't know what I think, any more. I'm married to the love of my life; we have four adult children and four grandchildren so far. She too was married, and has three grown children, and now two grandchildren she didn't live to see. We're not talking sex here, people. Was it love even? Or was it identity?

I can't write long emails any more, not to anyone, or long letters. I have fallen mostly silent here too. All the letters were to her. I never talked about her; my husband was surprised, when she died, at my reaction. She talked about me all the time, apparently.....

The Zen folks tell a story. Once there was one who played the harp skillfully, and a friend who listened skillfully. Then the listener died. The musician cut the strings, and never played again.

Sorry for my absence, sorry for the loss.

Friend"ship, n. [AS. freondscipe. See Friend, and -ship.]


The state of being friends; friendly relation, or attachment, to a person, or between persons; affection arising from mutual esteem and good will; friendliness; amity; good will.

There is little friendship in the world. Bacon.

There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity. Rambler.

Preferred by friendship, and not chosen by sufficiency. Spenser.


Kindly aid; help; assistance,


Some friendship will it [a hovel] lend you gainst the tempest. Shak.


Aptness to unite; conformity; affinity; harmony; correspondence.


Those colors . . . have a friendship with each other. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

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