March 20, 2008

My Friend Anthony

The first time I met Anthony was at a large hall. The interesting seating arrangement was the first thing that caught my eye. Instead of the usual rows of chairs, there were round tables, similar to card tables with padded table tops. And comfortable chairs around the tables. We were all there to hear a panel discussion so there were long tables in front and tables in the rear with coffee urns and brochures and books.

The table I was standing beside was nearest the front door, so when Anthony walked in the door we met. When Anthony's friend arrived a few minutes later, they both sat at the same table since we had already met.

Since that first meeting, I have come to know Anthony and consider him a friend. One of the things I like about him is learning that the quiet manner is not shyness, rather, he is not someone who talks to hear himself talk. When he says something it is usually important and sometimes profound. I am always happy to be someone in hearing range of this talented young man. And he is that: Very talented. An artist.

Another unusual trait is his hearing. He has the ability to listen. Listening with respect, without judgment, and truly hearing is something some people never learn. For someone so young to be able to listen like Anthony does, is a window to his soul.

I am looking forward to Anthony's visit today. He is coming to see us today. We are preparing loaves of bread, timing their completion to when Anthony will be here so we can share fresh bread with him.

Being friends with Anthony is a blessing for me. We can talk candidly about any subject and it teaches me that human beings can meet on even ground and teach one other many things no matter what age any of us are at the time. There are many years between Anthony and myself, but we are friends. Something I have had very few of in my life.

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