Thursday, August 5, 2010

When a Friend Is Jealous of a Friend

Does everyone want to write?

I connected with an acquaintance from way back and was gratified to discover more commonality between us now, so many years after college (she was a year ahead).

She'd always had money--and although to me, middle class comfort seems like "money," she had more money than middle class students and still does. She'd also raised two aware and charming sons, now in their twenties, and devoted much time to charitable activities and traveling. And lived in one of the country's coveted beautiful spots.

While I might be inclined to feel a little silly by comparison, having lived my outsider life--no money, no kids--I didn't. For one, I know I've lived the life I was meant to, not so much in the sense of there being a Divine plan (there is, but it's misunderstood; no divinity planned for abomination to women and children; for war or oil spills) as the odd beauty of everything making sense as I look back.

So, the point of this posting? Is that I e-mailed my friend of many possessions, a beautiful home, world-traveling, children, good works, and she responded, "I envy you"--in relation to my writing poetry and having published a book.

She'd even read the book (The Future Is Happy) twice.

I don't know what to say or think. Or feel. Envy, like the other deadlies is both a waste of time and an inevitability insofar as, well, we're human. And I'm not using her honest admission as a springboard for thoughts about Sarah Sarai as a wonder. It's not about that.

It occurs to me I could follow up and ask if she writes, or what she meant, although I worry that's an indelicate probe into sensitivities. That one statement--of a moment--doesn't define my friend or our friendship. It was said (written); and I continue to consider its impact, relevance, meaning, compliment, implicit anger, recognition.

Though I do wonder if more people want to write than want to paint, make music, dance . . . Please feel free to comment here or contact me otherwise if you have any thoughts on that.

Peace and art to all.

Painting by Al Zahraa Sulaiman.

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