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Friday, January 2, 2015

My Two Holiday Symphonies

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury and refinement rather than fashion...to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony": William Ellery Channing.

Twice over the holidays just past, I've felt what Channing calls the "spiritual...growing up through the common" while spending a lot of comfortable, unhurried time with good friends. What a gift it is being with people who bring out the best in me. Which of your friends does this for you?

What makes these recent situations even more special is how much I enjoy both people from each of these two partnerships. Between the day after Christmas and New Year's Eve, I batted four for four. Then, further sweetening the pot was my wife's company.

Although the first part of Channing's formulation has always had a concrete appeal to me, the symphony he conjures is more than a metaphor for me today. The time with these four friends shared a magic similar to what music brings to my life.      

4 comments:

  1. The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
    --William Blake

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  2. I have consciously decided to only be around people that bring out the best in me. Recently I left a position in a group because it brought out the worst in me, it was very negative and not a very supportive environment. That is not good for me and I don't like who I am when around negativity. After spending time this holiday with friends and family who do bring out the best in me I am feeling happy and very very grateful!

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  3. Pat, it is interesting that you quote Channing. As you probably know he was the minister of the church that Terry and I used to attend in Boston. His statue stands across the street in the Public Garden. I had never read any quotes by him but will now look into some of his writings. I have to agree about Terry. She brings out the best in me as well.

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  4. Thanks to all. Anonymous - love the Blake quote (I think!). David; Wild coincidence about the Channing quote and you attending that church with Terry, especially since the third comment here is from hers truly!

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