Young Friends

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Commentary

I won’t embarrass the young people I wrote this for by telling you their names. Suffice it to say that it is a young man and his girlfriend. They got to know each other at a time when both were dealing with anxiety. Their kindness to one another was soothing, leading in time to genuine love (affection coupled with determined efforts to seek the good of the loved one). Buoyed by countless long conversations, they have each grown stronger, assured of the love and support that overcomes anxiety.

But life continues to be hard. Pressures abound. Schoolwork is taxing. Other responsibilities pile on with each year of young life. What this poem advocates is that my young friends face those pressures, spend the time and mental/emotional energy that is demanded of them now without resorting to the comfort they have come to know in each other’s presence (physical and virtual, thanks to the Internet). In devoting time to their duties, they are not denying the affection they have for one another, but investing in themselves, investing in the valuable person they are, the valuable person loved by the other.

In a storm, darkness and curtains of rain may limit how far we see, but hearing our friend calling out encouragement is a powerful aid. I like to imagine some code phrase like, “Together through the storm!” Literally. I like to imagine a literal phrase that conveys love in other “mere” words… think of “As you wish” in The Princess Bride. With encouragement like that, the storm loses it’s power. It may separate for a time, but it cannot ultimately separate those whose love for one another was forged by its menace, those who learned there is something more powerful than a storm.

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