OK, Let me acknowledge that this blog post is being composed at 12:35 AM after imbibing a little 2000 Chateau Musar in honour of my dear friend Sara's birthday. Actually, the disclaimer in and of itself is ultimately too Canadian.
We are far too much a product of our colonialist roots. "Stiff upper lip, and all that British shit", show no emotions, keep it all in... Recently a good friend of mine gave me a hug at the end of a time together and said "love you" which at first blush sounded out of place. But as "a guy" who is white, Anglo-Saxon, and has a Christian heritage, it should come as no surprise that the word love in English is too confined, too narrow. I remember well my 1989 English 1900 essay, written for Prof. Upton, about love which compared Shakespear's 116 Sonnet to the various Greek meanings of the word love, Eros, Agape, and Philia. The latter being the subject of this post, brotherly or sisterly love, the root of Philadelphia. For the most part as good Canadians, we are too bashful or prudish to say to our friends that we love them, but that is the emotion that we feel. Not an erotic love, but an affectionate love that is borne of friendship and companionship, where we acknowledge that our relationship is more than something casual. Those words uttered by a friend, "love you" have stuck with me, knawed at me, because I have been too cowardly to use them in return.
A conversation around a fire, wine shared in the heat of summer nights, debate, stories, flawed recollections, are all part of a community that I want to be part of. Even a good couple of bottles of Chateau Musar weren't lubricant enough to allow me to communicate honestly this evening. I want to tell my friends that I love them. I want to communicate to my colleagues that they are dear to me, that I value them more than words can express (a lame excuse) because I could simply just say how much I value them and quit being so Canadian or proper. Why does emotion have to reside within the confines of intimate relationships? I think that we should be able to say "I love you" to our friends. Maybe I am the exception to this, maybe the world around me already communicates with this level of openness, but within my sphere, we are still to stiff. I for one want this to change, I want to take a page out of my friend Candie's book and start to tell my fellow sojourners that I love them, and I value their companionship and conversation, their debate, their disagreement, their perspective (that are often different than mine) I love them for who they are, because they make up my community, and more importantly contribute to making me who I am.