My friend, Maia Dery is responsible for me finding and reading David Whyte. Here are a few quotes from Whyte’s lovely chapter called Friendship in his book, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerability more than our triumphs, when we are under the strong illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die (71).
Friends transcends disappearance: an enduring friendship goes on after death, the exchange only transmuted by absence, the relationship advancing and maturing in a silent internal conversational way even after one half of the bond has passed on (74).
The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self: the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.– David Whyte
If you’re new to David Whyte Consolations is a wonderful book to get you started. You can get a copy of the book from the Bookshop.org (an online indie bookstore): Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words