Precious Metals

Ponderings

Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver,
And the other’s gold.

When analyzing this poem – which few do, so my audience is quite limited – one might conclude that the moral of the verse to continue meeting new people but that your longtime friends will always be more valuable. It seems logical to conclude that new friends are silver and old friends are gold, but I beg to differ. The poem never indicates which is which, only that one is silver and the other is gold. It leaves it up to us to decide which precious metal is associated with each type of friend. Thus, I will argue the opposite: new friends are gold and old friends are silver. This may contradict age-old mantras, superstitions and party invite lists, but I feel that a case should be made.

Both friendships are important; each have their own benefits. Old friends provide a sense of support and understanding that can only be achieved by age. We develop strong bonds that help us endure through hardship and pain and that we can rely on to get us through the more mundane tasks in life. But new friends force us out of our comfort zones and draw us away from our traditions, allowing us to see things in a different light. Engaging and interacting with “new” people shakes us from our stagnant lives. Not that old friends keep us from doing these things, but we often get so comfortable with our current relationships – far too content with the routine interactions, the ease of conversation associated with aged companionship, the reliability of always being understood – that we miss out on a whole new world of experiences.

Some people are turned off by the idea of new friendships, assuming that you must abandon or give up your securely established relationships in order to pursue some novel companion who is not guaranteed to come through. Worst of all, they could reject you. You could put an extensive amount of effort into a new friendship and it could in fact lead nowhere, leaving you empty-handed, as if that relationship was owed you.

I think that the main fear is that you might lose your old friendships in the process of pursuing new ones. But that is where the song qualifies itself: it says “but keep the old,” reminding us that old friendships are a necessity that you shouldn’t just toss away because you found new people to entertain you. Old friendships keep us rooted while new friendships help us grow. Without the old you could not have the new. It is important that while exploring the possibility of new friendships that you continue to nurture your existing ones.

Ultimately, friendship is an art of balance and adaptability. You must learn to embrace the novelty and growth that comes with new friends and to appreciate the sturdiness and dependability of your old ones.

9/11

Ponderings

9 years ago today I was 11 and staring at images on the TV that I didn’t understand. I still don’t.

Crunchy

Ponderings, Rant

Crunchy peanut butter is the greatest product of laziness.

The Trade-Off

Ponderings

I’d much rather be aware of my family’s disfunction than be oblivious to it. Every family is crazy – I might as well enjoy it.

A Brilliant Discovery

Ponderings

I have decided that chocolate pudding tastes like cake batter made from a box which means I can enjoy the deliciousness of raw cake without the side effects (raw eggs just don’t mix well with stomach juices). I deserve a medal.

Mirror Image

Ponderings

You know the movies about twins who don’t they are twins until they randomly run into their twin who just so happened to be in the exact same place at the same time and they have that double-take moment when they realize that there is someone standing in front of them that looks just like them? Well, those scenes always kind of bother me, mostly because that sort of thing doesn’t just happen once in a blue moon – they happen to me on a weekly basis. Every so often I’ll see a photo of my twin sister or sit across from her at lunch and think, wow, we look freakishly alike. There is someone in this world who shares my gene pool, my own personal womb-mate. It’s weird to think that I’ve shared more with my sister than I will ever share with anyone else in my lifetime. And I guess, for what it’s worth, movies kind of grasp that state of wonder and amazement. But, movies don’t really show you what it’s like when that feeling is gone. I don’t mean to be a downer, but my sister informed me that twins die an average of 10 years apart. Do you know what this means? It means that one day, my sister or I will qualify for membership into the Twinless Twin Foundation (not fake, look it up, it’s really sad). I just cannot fathom waking up and knowing that the person that I share so much with isn’t there. Imagine the opposite of what they show in movies. I wonder if it is even possible to illustrate that feeling of separateness. I’d be interested to see Hollywood attempt that story.

Behind the Binding

Ponderings
I love the feeling of walking into a bookstore, any bookstore. No matter where you are in the country or the world the books are still there, never changing, their hard bindings protecting the stories within. I love being surrounded by the life’s work of timeless authors, their histories just as much a part of the store as the words that they wrote. Hundreds and thousands of lifetimes all wait to be explored. Sometimes, I like to just walk the store, grab any book off the shelf and read a page picked at random. It doesn’t matter if I’ve read it before or if it is the first time I’ve seen it because I’ve made a connection, I’ve dipped into a moment of the life of a character, peeked at a sliver of someone else’s time. I revel in that moment, close the book, and move on. The character never stops, I merely caught it in passing. That’s what is great about being in a bookstore, it’s as if you are in the middle of a vast literary terminal with characters coming and going, bumping in to each other. Some share in experiences, others are stuck in completely different times and worlds. Historical events crash into fantasy and the real meet the figments of another author’s imagination. The best part is that I have the privilege of observing it all.

Falling Silent

Ponderings

Why does it never thunder or lightning during a snow storm?

So Cliche

Advertising, Ponderings

People who live in glass houses should move.