'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Friendship

I have an aquaintance - she calls me friend - who calls me more often than I think of her, and asks me for more than I have the energy and desire to give. I feel guilty, but I cannot think of her without irritation...

"Compulsion is the death of friendship'

- Stephen Marurin, "Post Captain" by Patrick O'Brian


11 comments:

  1. Oh dear, I know exactly how you feel. Over the years I've had several such 'acquaintances', and you just can't get rid of them.

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  2. Oh dear. Ditto. The only historic period that has ever really got into my heart was the period of Nelson and so Patrick O'Brian's superb novels are a joy to me. The quote from his novel is very apt but there is an even more destructive condition: pity.

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    1. Which one are you up to Geeb? I find myself listening to them over and over again. I have the first seven as audio books, and it's so nice to be read to…

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    2. PS yes, pity is not a friendship quality.

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  3. I am not sure if you are being yourself or the book so ...
    How lovely that your acquaintance is drawn to your compassionate personality. Take it as a compliment. She probably detects some aspect of you that you undervalue. She might genuinely need some little part of you. Or Fate might be drawing you together so you can change the course of her life to a better one. We all fight hidden demons and in your artistic attitude lies the ability to value the different, the eccentric, and the less-observed. Life without hurdles is far too bland.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful response Louise. All of what you say may well be true in this particular case. And I flatter myself to say that I have helped many people, and, naturally been helped myself. However a true *friendship* is not just about need, it's about mutual respect, among other things.

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  4. No guilt should be felt
    You give
    What you want and can do xxx

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    1. Thanks for the nutshell John. Exactly.

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  5. Patrick O'Brian is a favorite author of my husband and I, and we bought the whole series of books. Yes, people can want more from us than we care to give, a rather lopsided friendship.

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    1. Jack 'n Stephen rule! Interetsing that there seems to be a groundswell of women who are 'discovering' O'Brian. I can't think of any other book equally

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    2. ... enjoyable to both sexes.

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