January 31, 2007

What is a Friend?

I would like to share with you, my cherished blog buddies, one of my all-time favorite passages about friendship:

"What is a friend?

I will tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with him. He seems to ask of you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. He does not want you to be better or worse. When you are with him, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you. He understands those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With him you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities and, in opening them up to him, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of his loyality. He understands. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse him, neglect him, tolerate him. Best of all, you can keep still with him. It makes no matter. He likes you. He is like fire that purges to the bone. He understands. You can weep with him, sin with him, laugh with him, pray with him. Through it all - and underneath - he sees, knows and loves you.

A friend? What is a friend?

Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself."

- C. Raymond Beran

I love reading this because it never fails to remind me of how blessed I am to be married to my best friend.

You can have many friends, but the truly great ones are rare.

If you have found one with whom you dare to be completely yourself, treasure your friendship. Your life will be all the more better for it .


JR's Thumbprints said...

I can count my friends on one hand; we can pick up our conversations where we left off, even if we haven't seen each other in a year. Nice quote.

Emmie said...

this is such a lovely post.... its so good to read how u cherish the essence of true friendship... its really so nice that u are married to your best friend.... well u can drop by My Blog sometimes... hope u will find it interesting...!!!

Irene said...

JR: That's great! Take care of your friends and they will take care of you. ;p

Emmie: I'll definitely drop by your blog. Thanks for visiting mine and taking time out to leave such kind words. =)

Oh, The Joys said...

I am married to my best friend too. It is a gift.

Irene said...

Oh, The Joys: Wonderful! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Hope to catch you again soon! ;p

Brian said...


So glad to see you back my friend. I too am married to my best friend and soul mate and I couldn't be happier. :)

Thanks for the comment.

angel, jr. said...

What a great passage!!!

Bearette24 said...

i love the quote and picture! your posts always make me smile :)

Suspect said...

I love reading this because it never fails to remind me of how blessed I am to be married to my best friend.

well then, you are one lucky girl.


make sure he reads this :)

Steven Novak said...

We took different routes...

You married your best friend, I married my worst enemy... ;)


thethinker said...

Very wise words.

With friends, it's like quality over quantity. Who cares how many you have, so long as the ones you do have are as great as those described in that passage?

krystyna said...

Hi Irene!
First, this photo is soo BEAUTIFUL!!!You both look as brother and sister.
Great post!
True friend looks at your heart!
Wishing you a lifetime filled with happiness!

rmada said...


Great post once again. Indeed you are blessed for being married to your best friend. I wish you both happiness in this adventure called life.

Irene said...

Brian Bunny: There's nothing like having found your soulmate. Everything falls into place perfectly, doesn't it? =)

Angel, Jr: Glad you liked it! Thanks for dropping by! ;p

Beautiful Bearette: Thanks! That photo was taken using the new camera my husband gave me for Christmas by yours truly. I took it when we were goofing around the mall arcade. c",)

Suspect: Welcome to my blog, good-looking! ;p

You're right. I should share this post with my husband. That man does not read my blog often enough. Hmmmmph! :p

Steve: Hmmmm.

"You married your best friend, I married my worst enemy..."

My husband tells me that exact same thing.


The Thinker: Quality is right. There's nothing wrong with having many friends. But it's fabulous to have one or a few that completely know you inside and out and still love you anyway.

Krystyna: It's funny you mentioned that. My husband and I have actually been mistaken for brother and sister before. I guess it's true that they say...when two people are always together, they start to look alike! ;p

Rmada: Awwwww. You're sweet! Thank you! =)

Menchie said...

Love the quote! And cute pic of you and Allan. :D

Prismatico said...

A beautiful though , I realize that I have a beautyful friend un my job, see you later!!

Nosjunkie said...

I love the line about your soul being naked

SaM-GiRL said...

It really is great when you are best friends with the person you are inlove with, or married to. The only bad thing about it is, when things go wrong between you, you lose 2 ppl at once. friend and lover.

Noushad said...

Meaning of F.R.I.E.N.D

F" is for Fun............That friends share when they are together.

"R" is for Reliability....A true friend is someone that you can always
rely on.

"I" is for Interest.......Someone who is genuinely interested in you,
your fears, joys, and life.

"E" is for Energy.........They pick you up when you are down, and give
you the energy to go on and believe in yourself.

"N" is for Nothing........Nothing is ever too much, no matter what time
it is, night or day.

"D" is for Distance.......Although the miles may separate you, a true
friend is never far away.


Noushad said...

Thanx Irene, for ur comments upon my "ALSHIMERS".

"Angeldust" said...

How lovely dear Irene,
I will copy and keep for myself, if I may....

I have a special friend like that, he is "teaching me to allow myself to be".
A true blessing, never too late.

Love and blessing to you and yours

Irene said...

Mench: I know you also married your best friend. You're just as lucky. ;p

Prismatico: Thank you for visiting my blog! Feel at home here. =)

NosJunkie: I know. I think it's actually easier to bare your body than your soul to a stranger.

Sam-Girl: That's a sad thought, but true. In the end, we can only hope the journey was worth it all. =)

Noushad: Thank you for your fabulously creative comment! You're a super blogger F.R.I.E.N.D. indeed! ;p

Angeldust: Oh, I'm so glad to hear about the special friendship you have found! I wish you nothing but continued joy and contentment. Take care of you and yours always!

Chick said...

Wow...that was great to read! Thanks for finding me...I'll be reading you.

-Princess Shin- said...

Yeah.. Its so important to have your partner as your best friend. To be able to share your worries and joys with that person. Glad you found that in ur hubby! =)

Susan Abraham said...

And handsome too, Irene.
You have a very handsome best friend.
Come and visit me soon, ok.

bookwormaddict said...

What a sweet picture of you and your husband:) Isn't it great to be married to your kindred spirit??

Irene said...

Chick: Welcome to my blog! I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of each other. ;p

Princess Shin: Thanks, dahling! Hope you are having a good weekend!

Sweet Susan: Oh! Handsome is definitely a wonderful bonus. ;p

BookwormAddict: That it is! Thanks for visiting! Have a great weekend. =)

Michael C said...

I got to see my best friend tonight and yes, true friendship is beyond being describable sometimes.

Laura said...

You know, pixie-husband and I are quite young (or should I say, a tad childish) but we joke that we have nothing left but companionship, like old folks that don't *kiss* anymore. This makes us laugh because this seems awful but it is kinda true in that we don't have any shame anymore. No vanity. Now that is a gift! (We still get naughty, sometimes).

bookwormaddict said...

Hey Irene,
Thanks for commenting on my blog:)
What a cute post. Little kids are so cute!!

IRENE said...

This is so thoughtful. Lovely. May I post it in my blog with a link to yours?
Gratitude is essential for happiness, yet so often neglected... Wishing you happiness.

K said...

C. Raymond Beran is a plagairist.

I submitted this piece to my school district for publication in a county anthology of creative writing for junior high and high school students in 1978. This was in Cabell County West Virginia. I wrote this when I was 13 years old and it is about my best friend whom I had already known for 10 years at the time. He is still my best friend 31 years later, a friendship spanning over 40 years.

Unfortunately the piece was never publish in that anthology. I was heartbroken because I thought it was rather good and really wanted some tiny acknowledgment for my 13 year old efforts. I assumed that it wasn't printed because a junior high student had dared to use the word "naked" and "sin". Now I realize that it may have either been sifted out of the entries and spirited away by whomever calls himself C. Raymond Beran or was actually rejected but passed around for others to read because it was deemed good but inappropriate subject matter for school writing. Regardless, someone, somewhere decided it good enough to try to use it to further their career. Obviously it did this person no good because you will find no other works listed on the net attributed to that name nor will you find any information about this C. Raymond Beran in any look-up. It most likely is a pseudonym used once for this poem and then when he could not produce works similar abandoned his quest as a writer of any sort. Don't worry, I'm working on figuring out just who this fellow is so I can give him a very large piece of my mind.

I was very upset upon realizing that this piece has become so incredibly popular over the years, been published, quoted in graduation speeches such as one at Colgate U. this year, 2009 and seems to be much loved but the people who read it but they do not know that it was not written by some man but by an intensely thoughtful 13 year old girl.

My name is Kristina K. Bruce and I wrote, "What Is A Friend" for my best friend G. Scott Fillinger and I'm mad as hell.

I am however glad that you liked my piece. It was special when I wrote it even if only to myself at the time. It is even more special now as I have started to write again for the first time in over 25 years. You see, if I had gotten some credit for this one particular piece I probably never would have stopped. C. Raymond Beran took that from me.

If anyone ever sees C. Raymond Beran, you tell him that TheRaven-inexile@rocketmail.com has a few words she wants to have with him. If he reads this, be forewarned that I'm looking for you right now!