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I have always had a hard time finding friends.

Now, when I say friends, I’m not talking about the people with whom you might casually discuss the weather or local politics or your favorite foods and TV shows.  I’m talking about those gem-like people who you trust implicitly with all of your darkest secrets and demons.  The ones who keep those very same secrets locked up with theirs for safe keeping.  The ones who are both breathtakingly honest and unconditionally loving.  The ones who are not afraid to tell you when you are screwing up – not because they want to hurt you, but because they love you selflessly and want to see you flourish.

I love lots of people and try like hell to be a true friend to everyone in my life as much as I can.  I just don’t keep in very good touch with a lot of them (and if you, dear reader, are one of those people, I’m truly sorry!).

And it’s tricky – the longer I go without getting in touch with someone, the guiltier I feel about it and the more upset I imagine that someone to be with me for not keeping in closer touch.

Round and round my mind goes.

(Your mind does that too, eh?)

When I first took you to my heart
I never dreamed you would tear my world apart
But now I know the awful truth:
That faithful friends are a rare and numbered few

That’s the last verse to a song called “Nothing Left” that will be on my new CD coming out next month.  I wrote it earlier this year in the emotional aftermath of a treasured friendship that went south.  I do admit that I was pretty distraught when I penned this one.  I cannot perform this song without summoning a portion of the despair that compelled me to write it.  I coupled the down-and-out lyrics with a slightly peppy bluegrass-esque progression, and the dichotomy really seems to work.  (Here!  Have a listen.)

Certainly, for the sake of health and happiness, I need not dwell on things.  But music is interesting.  It – and especially sad music – is like a vaccine.  Sometimes you need just a small dose of the thing to immunize you against the rest of it all.

I am very grateful for those rare and numbered few friends who can easily forgive and forget the passage of time, with whom I can seamlessly resume a conversation that was started a week, a month, a year ago.  I hope that you have a few of those gems in your corner as well.

And don’t think that the irony of taking time to write this post about maintaining friendships while neglecting the very friends about which I write is lost on me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some emails to write and phone calls to make…

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