This past July, I had the pleasure of studying creative writing for a week with the awesome Heather Sellers. One of a boatload of ideas she shared was modeled on The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, a 10th-century book of observations by a lady-in-waiting to the Japanese empress. The book is a great read, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitingly critical, always entertaining. And the list-making is habit forming. Go ahead, you try it too! Here’s one I keep adding to:
Reasons We Are Friends
1. The time you broke your toe in the fancy pedicure salon
2. Such long history
3. We can listen without laughing, and nod encouragingly, as one of us describes our latest exercise or weight loss or weight acceptance strategy.
4. Because when I described the package, you looked confused too—Why would there be a glue tray in the bottom of a no-kill mouse trap? How, you asked, would somebody ever get the mouse’s little feet unstuck?
5. Kayaking, mangroves
6. Because we’ve all seen naked yearning and envy on each other’s faces, wishing for something one of us, each of us, has—financial security, oceans of personal freedom, actual oceans outside our door, a beautiful garden, a fantastic vacation, a creative talent, robust health, successful children, happy children, or the Jackpot—happy, successful children.
And when we see that yearning in each other’s eyes, we do not pretend. And we do not apologize for our luck and our gifts. We hug each other, offer a cookie or a cocktail, and continue our decades-long conversation.