Personal Essay – A Tribute to my Friends

Silhouette of two children frolicking on a beach.

Image by Shelly Paul

My little world is populated with friends — spanning continents, religion, age, ethnicity and other social fragmentation that exists. They give me strength to soar to the skies, because I know they will catch me, should I fall.

My friends also come from a large extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins

IMG_4348/Shelly Paul
Image by Shelly Paul

I was reading to a room full of people when someone interrupted with a question about my first short story. I said something about being a novice writer and how I have grown ever since. When I resumed reading, the words fell out; the printed words rolled and fell out of the book. Some scattered on the podium, some on the floor, some fell on my clothing. I tried to resume the reading, but there were no more words left. I turned the pages back and forth in panic. The book had emptied out and the empty pages mocked me, ‘You built a career on stolen words, now the words got stolen from you.’

I find strength in my husband, like a tree from its roots. He is my home, my love. I owe him my everyday happiness. The thought of him can bring a smile, even on days when nothing goes my way.

Here’s a poem I wrote for him: Joy Ride

"Nobler and more rewarding than fame, wine, love and wisdom was friendship." - From "Peter Camenzind" by Hermann Hesse, translated by Michael Roloff

Stumbling over my loneliness
When all of you lit,
Countless candles for me
The wax has melted,
The light has faded,
Yet, the dying gleam
And the smoky fragrance lingers on,