Comfortable conversation – 19 August 2019

Three women sit together on a bench in the garden, beautifully dressed, with flowers in their hair. They converse, listening carefully to one another. The woman in the center gives attention to the one on her right, while at the same time holding the hand of the one on her left. The bodies of all three are open and relaxed. They are safe in each other’s company. A roly-poly terrier sleeps in the sun at their feet – content and at peace.

What do they speak about? What do they share with each other? What can they be sure will be heard and held?

The picture, by the Spanish realist/impressionist Joaquin Sorolla (1910), is of his wife and daughters.


To see her is a Picture –
To hear her is a Tune –
To know her an Intemperance
As innocent as June –
To know her not — Affliction –
To own her for a Friend
A warmth as near as if the Sun
Were shining in your Hand.

Emily Dickinson

easy to be with             you are

easy as the ebb
and flow of tides           you are

easy as melting snow   you are

wise women
welcome as sunshine

                          spreading delight

Pauline Prior-Pitt, 2012

You have blessed us, O God,
with the gift of friendship,
the bonding of persons
in a circle of love.
We thank you for such a blessing:
for friends who love us,
who share our sorrows,
who laugh with us in celebration,
who bear our pain,
who need us as we need them,
who weep as we weep,
who hold us when words fail,
and who give us the freedom
to be ourselves.
Bless our friends with health,
wholeness, life, and love.

Vienna Cobb Anderson