Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, November 22, 2013

8-17-13 RMB Counsel of Friends

8-17-13 RMB Counsel of Friends 

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

In your works and in your life, you often emphasize the importance of friendships. You seem so independent for someone that stresses close relationships thusly. I venture to comment that sometimes it is the strength we gather from others that makes us appear strong.

Several people have recently complimented my writing and, through my life, many have showered me with compliments on many levels. The writing I know for a fact is in no small part the result of years of encouragement from my friends in our Writer’s Circle. One in particular, Jennifer Silva Redmond, has been tirelessly nurturing me along, contributing her words and wisdom to my writings.

As for the compliments of my character, my actions, there is a sister, my Rita (whose favorite color is brown, I kid you not) that deserves credit for tirelessly guiding and supporting me through my life.

Today I spent the afternoon with my Writer’s Circle editor friend and topped the day off by visiting her and her husband on their currently dry docked boat, the best time ever to invite a friend aboard that gets seasick.

As we chatted, a glass appeared in my hand and poured into it was half of her beer. We recalled the last time I drank alcohol, a margarita, also with her. “Guess it is time for my every 5 year drink.”

We chatted about their screenplays and my novel while their dog Ready joined in the visit. They teased me about the steamy love scene that she encouraged me to put in. By now, the early fragments of the second and third follow-up novels have similar scenes.

As the teasing began, I took my leave, wishing them well on their upcoming trip up the coast by boat. The counsel of friends happens with such ease that it’s barely noticeable in the moment. Yet if one could look back to see the friends that have been there, hear the talks and laughter shared and, if it were even possible, count the tears liberated, the affect is undeniable.

Our strength is in our numbers, both in our masses and in what we contribute to one another. Not one of us would be who we are if not for whom we have known. Some say we should even be thankful for those that caused us pain, for they taught us something of ourselves in the interaction. There may be merit to that argument, however I tend to focus on the positive contributions. 

I find it quite astounding how the tides in a moment can turn from treacherous to bearable and even enjoyable with the counsel of a companion. It’s something invisible, untouchable and it is so clearly necessary. Of all the tools we are given, it is the ones hardest to comprehend and impossible to grasp that mean the most.

In awe,


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