Five Men and Their Gift of Friendship
I will start with my husband—also my best friend.
He suggested I stop working as a leasing agent and teach yoga.
I did; it worked.
Even when we cannot afford my ongoing training, he never says no.
After many hamburgers and a good 11 years of marriage he bought me a book: Anyone Can Cook. Tonight, I cooked a great dinner and complimented him on his patience. He said he just wanted to get me started.
He has never ever treated me disrespectfully.
He has no need to undermine who I am. He never asks me to do anything I don’t want to do. He supports every dream, whether realistic or not. As he says: “You have to start somewhere.” At my age, dreaming becomes more of a challenge.
The next man is a dear friend, one of my closest. He makes me laugh when I want to cry. He listens. He’s compassionate and he’s funny as all get out. In teacher training, he spent time helping me learn to speak from my heart. He answers my calls. He takes time to text me when he knows I am low.
My friend is compassionate.
My older brother told me when I was a college student to try and sit with stillness, before I even knew of the concept. He told me that even if I make a name for myself as a poet the process is the same: me, my muse and the words. He listens and does not judge me.
He gives me all the space I need; he has always been and always will be my big brother. He has a gentle spirit. He raised his son and stayed home when men did not do that, 20 years ago. He’s honest.
My client who has been a student of mine for five years gives sage advice and listens with his heart. He is a man of means and gives more than he takes. I often say I should pay him for the gift of teaching him. He tells stories I only share with my dad because of the players. He is kind. He understands me.
My client shares his life and experience freely.
Lastly, I name my dad. My dad is 86 years old. When I was in my mid 30’s I asked him if I should give up trying to publish: he said never give up.
This same man never understood why I would go to a poetry reading versus a football game and once told me the one time I came home with women’s magazines that I would gain more from them than Ezra Pound.
He apologized again today for not understanding poetry.
I sent him a bunch of articles. He read them all and said he did not understand them. He also said I am his daughter and he wants to understand me. Some parents don’t try, or even know how to try.
My dad continues to grow and be more open with every year.
He once told me to not write about him and mom till they were dead. The other day he said I should write a book, even if I do write about them.
He asked me if all my writing was so personal.
When I was having problems, diagnosed with schizophrenia, he stepped up to the challenge and was there for me all along way.
His fire, work ethic and strong sense of right and wrong inform my actions and taught me a deep sense of responsibility, and love for work.
What I have learned from all these men: love and respect are partners with trust as the foundation.
I am friends with all of them and that in itself is the gift.
Who are the men in your life? Why do you love them?
I am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was nine years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write because I love it. I teach because I love it. I tell my students all the time: do it because you can. That works for me. I believe in creating opportunity. I believe in helping my self and others. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate. Check out my blog and website here.
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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