Sunday, November 21, 2010


Book in hand, I headed off yesterday with all good intentions to visit the NGV International. However, I was side-tracked and ended up at the Queen Victoria Market and in particular the Asian grocers where I shopped for years. On the tram ride I spoke with acquaintences who live in North Melbourne and although I haven't seen them for a while they were surprised that I'd moved away nearly three months ago. I thought I'd miss the people that I saw regularly for thirteen years, but I was wrong. I don't miss them and that's probably because our conversations were fleeting; the relationships superficial. I wonder how many true friends we make in our lifetime, and how we assess who is really a friend and who isn't? I use to think that friends are people you invite into your home and I suppose, at least for me, this is a maxim. But there are people you have conversations with over email or on the telephone who might be counted as friends. Perhaps friendship is about a level of intimacy shared? I know that when I think about friendship I'm thinking about a sense of history with that person and so, even though I may not have seen the person in a while, I still regard them as a friend. We are selective though, aren't we? I know that there have been many people throughout my life who have wanted to be my friend and I was either too busy to take on another one or just not as interested in them as they were in me (I don't think this anything to do with conceit), and I haven't changed, indeed, I've probably become more discriminating about who I want in my life. I often ask myself, whether I only allow people to get close to me if I can learn something from them and whether this is a totally selfish modus operandi? Of course, sometimes friends grow apart, they change and cannot or will not accommodate the changes they see in the other. Perhaps what brought them together in the first place is no longer there, and that's alright. People move on. Writing this post made me think about Facebook and part of the reason why I no longer wanted to be involved in it. People asked to be my 'friend' and I questioned why, given I didn't know them. You discover quite quickly that some people are just gathering 'friends' to show their popularity. Having more friends than others has become yet another competitive endeavour! For some though, it is a survival strategy of sorts. If you gather a lot of on line 'friends' you may get one 'real life friend' out of the exercise.

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