I would begin by saying: Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments as a way of talking about friendship, about a firecracker of a friend and a firecracker of a color called Tangerine Tango (this year's color of the year, according to Pantone and one which will lead to a contest coming up here later at SD). For now, there's just that tangerine tease.
Today's thoughts are on friendship and the marriage of true minds that makes for friendship and how when you meet a good friend's other good friends, you wonder how you can fit into one side of the puzzle and someone so very different locks into the same scene.
Earlier this week, a water workout sheet to help with my sorry knees arrived on my doorstep. Of course, it was all plastic sheet protected carefully, the giver: new, great friend Kimcakes, thinking, everything through, (as she does) and as makes for a thoughtful, vibrant life. I was so touched, knowing that she'd anticipated that I would need to take the list of exercises to the pool and that they would be a little waterproof from her efforts. Kimcakes has been known to 1. Give a whole wheelbarrow of yucca plants to us, dug up whole from her yard and living now in a fan of fight and flourish in ours. 2. Leave a bag full of the kind of cannas that come up all burgundy in their foliage and are too, doing just that in ours. 3. Make the most amazing mojitos hands-down 4. Be the kind of catsitter that hangs with your cats, likes and plays with them and remembers them and brings them toys when she stops by.
I mean she is a new friend and the dearnesses of the short time I've known her go on and on in such a way as to make me think I've known her forever. I haven't, it's been a year or so. At first glance, we are so different: she is not tangerine lipgloss and frillies. She rides horses, drinks good beer, knows how to do things, is capable in a way that I sort of meander my way through, if at all. She is more tomboy in some ways and yet great with color and clothes and make-up. Vivid and just-enough.
Another friend, I'll call her Sweetcakes, sent me a birthday package so thoughtful in every way that it contained that lifetime of friendship in its thoughtful contents. Lipgloss by Sephora: more indulgent than I'd allow myself, and in four versions of that delicious orange by Pantone. Sinful, decadent rich chocolate, copper geometric dangly earrings so flattering that I pulled the earrings out that I was wearing and put them in immediately. And it goes on. The presents aren't the point. But that friendship is a brand of knowing and friendships are various brands of knowing.
Only Kimcakes would get my new love for old, broken-down but well-made cowboy boots found for a song at thrift stores. (And that my most thrift-savvy friend, Merrycakes, is now on the lookout for--from Indiana.) And onward: to Utah to Ohio to a Kimcakes-shared-Alabama, lifetime friendships web and weave, at their best they give, not only to the primary participants, but to their friends and their friends (and on and on like an old faberge shampoo commercial that will date me horribly).
Sweetcakes and I are oldest children, lovers of poems, Van Gogh, Wallace Stevens, the skies and their starry twilights, cats, dogs, bungalows, our beloved, place-kept-for-me-by-her: Salt Lake City. Those mountains that we learned, in every way, to steer by.
Yesterday, another dear, dear friend came by. We late-honored her July birthday with a bundt version of her favorite of my cakes (the fig cake) and we drank mojitos made minty by my crazy crop of wild mint, one stalk of which, I call Kimcakes-mint, because she brought me a bunch and that bunch made a rooted start that I planted, not recalling that I had planted mint the year before. I love that wild weave of mint, not knowing where it came from and as I mash it down, using turbinado sugar and a lime in the simple syrup mix I simmer for an afternoon of good rum and friendship mint, I can't help but marvel at how many friends helped make a summer day, with a square or two of dark chocolate on the side: sweet, warm and beautiful.