Monday, August 1, 2011

Second Cup Friends by Sarah Bost-Askins

Sarah was one of my very first Twitter friends. Her coffee tweets every morning make me smile and her poetry is absolutely delicious. Sarah was the first person ever to guest post for me on my previous blog and as such, I am delighted to kick off this month of guest posts with this beautiful piece about friendship.

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We live in a world of one cup, rushed through friendships.

'Coffee' photo (c) 2010, Kaloer - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Our lives spinning through a maniac to do list while squeezing in time for a brief respite of conversation. We schedule our  coffee dates to avoid the inevitable guilt-laden nights, the I've been meaning to call messages, but mostly the guilt. The comfortable earth toned coffee shop fully equipped with WiFi, just in case we can fit another work task in, serves as the ideal meeting place. Music, loud espresso machines, and other talkative patrons mask the lag of our conversation. Lattes offer a brief distraction from the awkward pauses when we have run out of the compulsory topics—how's the hubby/partner, what grades are the kids in again, did you hear about...? Coffee gulped and general Facebook fodder shared; we rush off to the next thing and the next thing. Always a rush to check off each box on the to-do list.

Friendship is not for the to-do list.

But so often, carving out time for friendship, for an interweaving of our lives can be more difficult than scaling Mount Everest or more painful than a root canal. While scheduling time these days is inevitable,  a to-do list spot implies another chore, another duty. But our hurried pace rarely lets us live above the chores, the duties, the to do list.

So, we rush...

Through our coffee dates, our meetings with each other. Worse still, our hearts have hardly been opened to each other's company. Isn't that what friendship should be? An exposing of our inner selves, the part of us we don't tweet or post on Facebook, the part hiding behind the blog posts, the part waiting for a chance to speak to another exposed heart. Isn't that what friendship should be?

Let's Be Second Cup Friends.

At some point, we realize this rushed friendship erodes the very fiber of our souls. It covers up the beating heart, seals it inside with bricks and mortar, and offers very little comfort. But what if we chose to slow our lives down for a moment? Rather than a gulped down hurried coffee date, we chose to order another cup, the second cup.

The second cup of coffee has the real magic in it.

Within that second cup, we allow ourselves the pleasure of moving beyond the stereotypical conversations. We move a bit closer to that exposed heart, a bit closer to interweaving our souls in friendship. Second cup friends strengthen each other as we open up to our fragility, our wreakedness, our flaws. It is through our flaws that friendship grows and sustains itself.

Question: How are you a second cup friend?

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Sarah grew up reading, thinking, musing which led her to pursue a Bachelor's and Master's degree in English. This Virginian settled in the Carolinas where she lives with her husband Mark, two beautiful step-children AJ and Ashley, and three rambunctious English Springer Spaniels Ginger Snap, Cupcake, and Ophelia(Ophelia was thus named when no one in my family was hungry). She blogs at From Tolstoy to Tinkerbell and is a contributor for The Well-Written Woman. You can also follow her on Twitter.






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