me, reflecting on Gail Caldwell’s memoir of friendship Let’s Take the Long Way Home
The book is filled with glimpses of specific habits, routines, and gestures Caldwell prized in the friendship, and these were among the most memorable parts for me. After a long day of exploring with the dogs, for instance, they’d take the scenic route home. “At the end of the drive, with Clementine snoring softly in the back seat, we would sit outside the house of whoever was being dropped off, and keep talking. Then we would go inside our respective houses and call each other on the phone.” She describes Knapp stepping into her life at the time when she realized most of her friends “belonged in the second circle of intimacy—the people you’d call when you were hit by a bus, but not necessarily if you’d merely sprained an ankle.” Knapp became a call-at-an-ankle-sprain sort of friend to Caldwell.
In order to inhabit friendship in a rich, robust way today, we need to ponder these kind of mundane scenarios. How do we build loyalty and intimacy from the nitty-gritty of dog walks and car rides and canoe trips and phone calls? Many young Christians, particularly, are wondering about the practicalities of forming lasting, sacrificial friendships. How do we actually do it, in day to day life? Reading Caldwell’s book wouldn’t be a bad place to start looking answers to that question.
This is my commonplace book and sometime-journal.
I blog at SpiritualFriendship.org.
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My book is here: Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.
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