This time last year, I was feeling “Bookish”.
Having met Meredith Maslich, at the Story District rebrand bash, I was psyched to learn that she heads – Possibilities Publishing – a unique, boutique, partnership approach to the book trade.
Maybe I could turn Unorthodox & Unhinged into a book? A radically manic idea! Meredith and I met over coffee to discuss the possibility. But the journey, from blogger to author, is in reality a gargantuan leap.
Long story short: U&U has not morphed into a book.
But short story long: U&U has made into a book.
A reflective piece I wrote, Make New Friends and…, is the opening chapter in Besties, Bromances & Soulmates, this year’s Possibilities Publishing anthology. Between its covers, half a dozen writers explore “pivotal relationships” and the gift of friendship through short story, essay, fiction and non.
So is it any wonder that”Thank you for being my friend”, the old Golden Girls’ theme song, is ringing in my ears. And this post election week, it rings all the more dearly and resonates all the more deeply.
Our country has just come “through the great ordeal”. Well, we are not actually through anything.
Post election, I am experiencing waves of grief. I am stumbling, disoriented as if awoken from a bad dream. My bleeding heart liberal sensibilities have been overwhelmed. Knocked down and beneath these waves, I struggle to come up for air.
How about you?
As a coping mechanism, I have poured myself into my work. In just two days, I plowed through two week’s worth. I have stayed up later and gotten up earlier, cramming 27 plus hours into my day. Possibly by abandoning sleep, my busyness will belay my fears.
Mania, for a day or two or three, is awesome.
Mania, for a week or two or three, not so much.
So how do I – do we – rein in the mania when we are feeling so unmoored?
Well, very simply, by tightening the ties that bind.
By calling friends,
talking with friends,
having coffee with friends, dinner with friends,
walking with friends,
hiking with friends,
biking with friends,
Netflix/Hulu binge watching with friends,
cocktail partying with friends,
road tripping with friends,
book clubbing with friends,
bar hopping with friends,
pew sitting with friends,
praying with friends,
couch surfing with friends,
shooting the breeze or catching a movie with friends,
cooking with friends,
baking with friends,
crafting with friends,
board gaming with friends,
protesting with friends,
witnessing with friends,
volunteering with friends,
peace making with friends,
reconciling with friends.
Common ground, mutual support, trust, concern and compassion.
Love, respect, and admiration.
Friends restore one another’s souls and revive one another’s spirits.
This art of “befriending” is fueled by our tending to our friendships. Befriending the other, the new, the stranger, in this post-election season, is desperately what we need. Not rushing to an easy or happy-clappy reconciliation, but working towards deep, honest, life affirming connections.
Working towards a radical “we”.
Which brings me back to Besties, Bromances & Soulmate, a perfect little book to honor a friend or tuck into a Christmas stocking (or for Chanukah, Kwanzaa, etc.). These half a dozen stories celebrate the pivotal relationships in our lives.
Friendship begets friendship.
Love begets love.
December 11th at 4:00 PM, this little book is going to be launched. Its a friendly affair with author readings, book signings, and refreshments at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1608 Russell Rd in Alexandria, VA.
Bring a friend, a family member, an acquaintance, a coworker. Invite a Muslim friend, a Mormon friend, a Jewish friend, a Buddhist friend, an agnostic friend, an immigrant friend, an LGBTQ friend, an African American friend, a Hispanic friend, an old friend, your BFF, your next door neighbor, or the new guy who just moved in from across the street.
Ask a Hillary voter or a Trump supporter to come along.
It’s the Christian thing to do.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.