Friday, December 22, 2006

Old Friends

Old friends, old friends,
Sat on their park bench like bookends.
A newspaper blown though the grass
Falls on the round toes of the high shoes of the old friends.

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset.
The sounds of the city, sifting through trees,
Settle like dust on the shoulders of the old friends.

Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy.
Old friends, memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears

Simon & Garfunkel (1968)

Though I know what a friend is, I looked up in a dictionary to see what they have to say and I came up with this … “A person you know well and regard with affection and trust.”

Throughout our lives, we are taught to pick our friends wisely. We are also often judged by the friends we keep. A friend is someone by your side in good times and bad. It is someone who would give their life for your safety; It is someone who would protect you at all cost. It is someone who would love you for who you are regardless of your imperfections, idiosyncrasies and mistakes.

I suppose, however … does this friend have to be a person?

A few years ago, I came across this picture painted by John Weiss and it struck me as being the perfect example of an old friendship. A dog loves you no matter what you are or who you are. It doesn’t judge you by what you believe nor does it betray you because of what you do. It will walk by you and protect you and save you from harms way. They are, in my opinion, more loyal than many friends that we have had over our lifetime.

Here’s to dogs ... our “old friends!”


heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm so glad you commented to my blog today, and I followed the bread crumbs back here. From what I've just read, I think we would be friends if we knew each other. Even though neither of us is a dog.

Most of my best friends in life have been four-leggeds. I have lived contentedly with horses, dogs, cats, a grey wolf, a red fox, birds, and many smaller animals.

None of them cared how much money I had, who I voted for, what I wore, or which church I attended (or not.)

It's much harder to find humans with such fine values.

Josie said...

Dave, that's an absolutely beautiful painting. I've never seen it before.

Yes, I must say I was betrayed by someone whom I thought was a friend this summer, and it made me very sad because I didn't realize people could do that and still look at themselves in a mirror. Animals will love unconditionally, won't they? I've had a few wonderful pets like that.

Loved your post about the coffee shop, by the way. Too funny.


Le Nightowl said...

Here's to dogs :)

Le Nightowl said...

Merry Christmas to you, Dave!

Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and a nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chilled hidebound hearts.
- Lenora Mattingly Weber

Monika said...

Amen to that! Had never better friends than my dogs!

Le Magnifique said...

To all the dos indeed.