Sunday, July 19, 2015
mad women in the attic
On Saturday night I celebrated the fortieth birthday of my dear long time friend Clare (for some reason I look like I have combat make up on in the photo. I don't).
Clare's birthday dinner got me thinking about long time friends. As the saying goes, new friends are silver and old friends are gold. Nothing can replace the ease and the shared history that you have with a friend who has known you for a long time.
Clare and I met in the Women's Room at Melbourne University when we were 19. We both majored in Women's Studies and were, like most leftie arts students, firmly convinced we could change the world by the end of our degree.
Clare took me on my first Reclaim the Night march through the streets of Melbourne. Over the years we met up in cafes in Carlton and various share house parties to talk politics, relationships, family dramas, feminism and everything in between.
In our mid twenties Clare and a few other friends started a group called 'Mad Women in the Attic', once a month we would get together and talk more of the same politics, feminism, relationships, we'd drink, eat and try our hand at something creative, sketching, painting, knitting and the like. We were ahead of the craft is cool revolution happening now!
Clare always had and continues to have an incredible magnetism and ability to gather people from all walks of life around her and rally them together to achieve greater good.
Her heart and head are currently immersed in her work with asylum seekers, some of who are now her friends and were at her birthday dinner. Their story of seeking asylum and the daily pain of being separated from their young children who are still back in their country of origin is unimaginable. Beautiful, humble people who it was a pleasure to meet and for who I pray are reunited with their children. They are blessed to have Clare and her team in their corner.
I'm immensely proud of Clare for the way she lives so solidly by her values and lives life so wholeheartedly. And while we only see each other once or twice a year now instead of every second day our friendship stays strong.
I'm blessed with a good collection of long time friends like Clare. Sure the seasons of life can change the look and feel of friendships, some are cut unexpectedly short, some turn out not quite what you thought they would be, there are the stayers, you can count on them no matter how high the tide rises or falls. And then there are those rare and special friendships you make where it feels like an old friendship from the start.
Happy birthday Clare x
How about you? Tell me a favorite friendship moment in the comments, or a lowlight!