It is a sad thing when a friendship ends – and such is the nature of the world that all things end. One can, for so long, hold out the prospect that what at the time seemed like a misunderstanding can be redeemed. But that too must pass, it seems, that too must die and the past is recast anew in the light of that passing. I’m done, we say, but are we really? I have tried to engage in useful work of mourning. But when I say ‘I’m done’, I have clearly only just begun to think over and over about words said, about moments and choices made, about responsibility, blame and recrimination. The repeating is like a death grip. Endlessly I revisit those moments. I wonder what I might have said differently, I torment myself with those possibilities. If only .....
The ending of a friendship draws one’s attention to the gut-wrenching fragility of them all, to the vulnerability of our social bonds and their endless hopeless devastating volatility. If there is anything to be done it is, it seems, to assess the extent to which a friendship can be repaired, and the extent to which one is prepared to prostrate oneself before the alter of that friendship, humbly taking on the responsibility for what is always already radically shared. To take on the responsibility for the end of a friendship is sometimes the only way to bring it back to life, but at what cost? Is the friendship more important than a truth that will all over again destroy it? Is the friendship more important even than one’s own sense of self-worth? Ask yourself this: could you prostrate yourself before it knowing that you have no reason to take on the burden of the friendships’ ending?
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Repeating is like a death grip
I found blah-feme's recent remarks on "the end of friendship" moving and accurate (and, unfortunately, personally relevant). This is only the opening: