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Monday, March 13, 2000

Companionship Is...

The feeling of companionship, for me anyway, comes from knowing someone else is where I am, in the abstract perceptual space which is much larger in dimension than just what comes in unprocessed through our senses. It is comforting having someone there in the same way it is comforting having someone with you physically when you are otherwise all alone and far from anyone else -- because you have a backup, someone to lend a hand (or a mind) should you encounter a problem you can't handle single-handedly, someone who you can trust to observe and handle things roughly as you would, someone who will point out the things you would like to see when you happen to have been looking the other way, so the two of you together are four eyes and four hands and two minds with a similar agenda, which is significantly more robust than just two eyes and hands and one mind, and infinitely more robust than four hands and eyes and two minds with completely different agendas.

So companionship is when on a stormy night your lover starts a fire in the fireplace, dims the lights, and sits with his/her back to your back reading a book while you read yours, because something in each of you longs for that same ambience at this particular time, in this particular context (even if you didn't know that until they showed you -- which is the value of your own individualities). And loneliness is when he/she consents to the same simply because they want to be with you, and left to their own they would prefer to do something completely different.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com