We sit there, side by side on the sofa, eyes closed. In that moment nothing exists except the aria. Wordlessly we submit to the unbearable beauty of the soprano’s voice as it pierces simultaneously our hearts.. Emotions are not hidden; there is no shame in tears shed. Hearts are cracked open, the tender contents gladly shared.

Another moment: sitting on the cliff top in quiet companionship. The growling waves crash thundering onto the rocks, felt in our bodies rather than heard in our ears. The sun warming our backs; the breeze – gentle, refreshing. The coarse slippery texture of the dune grass in my fingers. The vast peaceful clear blue of the sky with its cotton-wool clouds contrasts with the intense turquoise and brilliant majestic white of the roaring breakers. Belly-laughs as we share a memory when our absurdness was exposed for all to see, then contrast, as we remember a dead friend; a moment of silence as we each privately touch that tender spot of loss inside of us. Long hugs – never demanding, only giving and receiving; just being fully there for the other.

The appreciation, gratitude for years of friendship. The spontaneous welling up of joy in response to the clear signs of happiness in the face and body of the other. Sometimes we are in silence. At other times: laughter, tears, conversation – always shared. True friendship is its own purpose: the sharing of our flickeringly brief existence within the infinite open heart of eternity.

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