– it was going to be, but when I sat down to type out the things I’m grateful for in this moment, the first thing which sprang to mind was the phrase: “The love of a good friend” and my internal censor screamed: “You can’t write that!”
And then I thought: “Well, why the hell not?”
We have caged the word “love” in a romantic box which denies it free range. I am capable of loving my friends, and my friends are capable of loving me, and that love is not romantic or sexual or unrequited – it’s simply good old platonic love, pure and simple.
Isn’t it a shame that we can easily rave that we love a house, a book or a car, but not feel easy saying we are grateful for the love of a friend? Well, I think it’s a shame; and from now on, I’m not going to censor myself from saying it – though I do understand I may have to have some explanatory conversations along the way!
Of course, the ancient Greeks had a word for it – philia (φιλíα) – often translated as brotherly love, or comradeship. Obviously I prefer the second translation to the first! It doesn’t make much sense to talk about brotherly love when two female friends get together and bare their hearts, laugh, cry and hug.
It also doesn’t make us gay or bi; it just makes us close friends, supporting each other through good times and all the other times.
It seems fitting to end this post with a definitive statement:
This evening, I am grateful for the love of a good friend.
I hope you have some φιλíα in your life, too.