On Friendship

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Friendship is about giggling together about stupid stuff. It’s calling someone and saying, “This person treated me mean,” and having your friend answer with a whole-hearted “we hate him now.” It’s being able to joke through the hard times, even the hardest time, with the understanding that you’re in it together. It’s supporting each other when the rest of the world may not, and sometimes it’s supporting each other when even you don’t get it, but you want your friends to be happy.

Friendship is saying the punchline of an old joke and watching someone else laugh. It’s laughing and crying in tandem with someone. It’s stressing when nothing is technically wrong in your life, but your friend’s worries worry you. It’s being the only one allowed to get away with stealing food off a plate, and it’s occasionally getting cake smashed in your face because it’s birthday tradition.

Friendship is texting that hilarious meme to the person it defines 1000%, and it’s answering the phone to sounds of another person sobbing, feeling your heart twist in your chest, and plowing on with a pep talk. It’s knowing something is wrong based on the way a person says hello. It’s asking who you need to go beat up, and being nice to someone because your friend asks.

Friendship is trolling your fancy work party for free drinks together in cocktail dresses, and it’s going to the pizza place around the corner in your pajamas. It’s seeing each other at your worst and never holding it against them. It’s understanding each other’s moods, even when you’re not willing to put up with them. It’s giving a kick in the pants when it’s needed. It’s the fire that is lit under your ass when you’re being lazy or indecisive. It’s telling the truth, even when it hurts, but trying to mitigate that hurt so the person isn’t trampled to death by your truth.

Friendship is reminding a person how incredibly awesome they are, whether they can see it, or not. It’s allowing a person to be free to be exactly who they are, no matter what. It’s allowing someone to order off a menu for you because “they’ll know what I like”, and it’s knowing someone’s standard order at all of your favorite area restaurants. It’s ordering a bunch of meals knowing you’ll just split everything up amongst you anyway.

Friendship is being able to let loose to a person, it’s base jokes and fake flirts. It’s pretending to be your bestie’s girlfriend when people won’t leave her alone. It’s feeling free to snort over a funny joke, and it’s mocking your friend’s snort.

Friendship is playfully ribbing one another, and it’s not taking that ribbing personally. It’s answering the phone at inconvenient times and bringing each other chicken soup when you’re sick. It’s using your car as a moving van and taking charge during hospital visits. It’s openly stating your flaws like they’re facts, and being met with “it’s true” style nods. It’s being ready with that well-timed joke, that cup of coffee, that phone call, that eye roll, that tackle hug, whenever it’s needed.

Friendship, both giving and receiving, saved my life so many times. When I’ve struggled with rejections or with depressions, friendships have carried me through. So to my wonderful circle of friends, thank you for being you.

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This post was inspired by a recent Friendship day post by another blogger. Her name is Jazz Lily, and you should totally check out her blog–she’s an artist and poet, and her work is beautiful. Jazz Lily wrote a post requesting her readers to post a short explanation of what friendship is. I responded with, “Friendship is always trying to understand and support.” While I think that’s a fitting explanation of what friendship is, it didn’t feel like enough to truly express what has become an uplifting force in my life. Thus, this post was born.

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CHRONIC ILLNESS ANTHOLOGY TITLE REVEAL!

Last week, I told you guys that my first literary non-fiction piece had been accepted for publication. The piece was about suffering with migraine, and would be appearing in an anthology about living with chronic illnesses.

Today, we’re revealing the title of our anthology. Ready?

Set…

Go!

Letters to Me Title Reveal Art

That’s right! The title of the first book is…
Letters to Me & Other Chronic Illness Warriors: Volume 1

Mark your calendars if you’re excited to check out our cover reveal on October 7, 2017! I know I can’t wait to see it!

The Language-Emotion Connection

Once upon a time, my best friend, Joy, bought me a book just because she knew how much I’d love it. She had started reading it and immediately understood that it would captivate me. And because she knows me better than almost anybody, she was 100% correct. That novel was “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”. Many years later, I took her to see the Broadway show for her birthday. It was equally amazing and it possessed the exact qualities that I needed it to capture from the book. I’ve spent some time thinking about this – the idea of one message being portrayed through multiple forms of media, or even multiple languages. What is essential to an effective translation?

I suppose I could start that discussion by asking a different question – what is the point of a good novel? Some would say entertainment, and I suppose, on some level that is true. But the way in which that novel entertains is by evoking emotion from the reader. When I write a story, I don’t really care if the words sound pretty, although I do strive for that as well. Words are selected solely to convey a message in the best possible way, and beautiful words go a long way towards that end. My goal is to write something that makes the reader feel. I could write beautiful flowing sentences, could use the largest vocabulary, could have the best grammar, but if nobody cares about my subject, I have failed as a writer.

For anyone who doesn’t know, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” is the story of an autistic boy named Christopher, who finds a dog dead and jumps headlong into solving the mystery despite his disability. In the course of this, Christopher learns many things about himself and his family’s secrets. The novel is written so you are told the story through the veil of Christopher’s mind. He thinks differently, sees the world differently, and so do we. The words work effectively to paint this picture. When this is translated into the form of a play, words are also used, but we are given several forms of visual and auditory stimuli to convey the differences in Christopher’s perception of the world. This is effective translation as we are left with the same feelings in the book as in the play format.

Words are tools in the art of literature, used to create a message, a feeling. That feeling – that is the thing that needs to be captured and transferred. That is the one thing that can’t be lost in translation. Whether it is in the process of transferring a piece from a textual to visual medium, or translating from one language to another, the most important thing that must be done is that we use our tools to create a message. And as long as that message endures, it really doesn’t matter what the delivery system is. As long as it evokes the same feeling within us, taps into that universal fact of humanity, the translator has done their job.

We don’t live in a closed society anymore. When we were children, my brother used to have a pen pal in Japan that he would exchange letters with and then wait weeks for a response. These days that is no longer necessary. We can send emails, sign on to chats, and accomplish that so much quicker. Websites translated via places like Smartling can connect potential customers with the proper businesses even if they are across the ocean from each other. Though our world is, geographically, a big place, and we speak thousands of languages, our global community is shrinking rapidly, because technology allows it – and translation facilitates that.

If the point of creation is to tap into a universal human experience, then it only stands to reason that the message be shared universally. The beauty in this idea that words are tools that create feeling is what it means for the spread of that message – with the proper translation, literature, and most any other medium, for that matter, can be reproduced for different audiences, can be spread far and wide for consumption. And isn’t that the most important thing?