A Friend is a Friend, is a Friend, is a Friend
What is a friend? I’ll tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can go naked with him. He seems to ask you to put on nothing. Only to be what you really are. He does not want you to be better or worse. When you are with him, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on guard. You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you. He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you. With him you breathe free – you can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities, and in opening them up to him they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty.
He understands. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse him, neglect him, tolerate him. Best of all, you can keep still with him. It makes no difference. He loves you. He is like fire that purges all you do. He is like water that cleanses all that you say. He is like wine that warms you to the bone. He understands. You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him.
Through and underneath it all he sees, knows and loves you. A friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.
This definition of a friend comes from an unknown author. I found it in the 1975 Farmers’ Almanac.
I will add a question and an answer to it. Do you have just such a friend? I do, and it is my husband of fifty-nine years.