Come spend the day!

Detail of a tapestry showing the visit of the Most Holy Virgin to her cousin Elizabeth. She stayed a while!

One of the many strange things I’ve adapted to in Brazil is really long visits. I was so used to the all-business, in-a-hurry, let’s-not-overstay-our-welcome kind of visits I knew in the US that it’s taken me years to acclimate to the pace of visits here. This week’s spate of post-quarantine visits included:

  • Six hours with a dear friend: 3 hours of cheese, salami, olives and wine; followed by a one hour walk to digest and pray a rosary, then two more hours eating beef stew and talking.
  • Five hours with another dear friend a few days later: lots of conversation; coffee and cake; more chatting, taking photos, and hanging out; turning down the invitation to stay for dinner (tripe stew…I couldn’t do it).
  • Eight hours with another dear friend the day after that: several hours of conversation, several hours of eating, more talking, more eating, and a good long time spent looking at beautiful art books.

I was telling another friend about it later and she said the customs that she’s known are a) the ‘come for lunch, stay til dark’ visit and b) the ‘come spend the day while the husbands are at work’ visit.

I was marveling at the quality of time one gets with a friend when one spends all day, and not all day running around going places and being seen and so on, but just sitting at home talking. With that kind of uninterrupted attention to each other you really can delve into long stories and wandering musings. The friendship gets treasured and pampered and polished and cared for. It seems to me to put priorities straight. God gave me these friends to love and be loved by. Generosity and gratitude seem much better responses than fussing about whether I’ve checked off three more to-dos on my to-do list.

Then again, I’m a gringo, so today there were no more visits and I fretted over my to-do list. But I do think most everything on it, barring a few bills to pay, can be done tomorrow with no harm to anyone.

Dear friends

Now and then I catch up on Facebook, and a few posts down comes that showcase of People I May Know. I spent a while browsing them tonight, and they are an interesting assortment.

I know her…I think. High school? No. But the name is familiar, even if the face is not.

I know that face. From where? But the name…doesn’t ring a bell.

Oh! There she is! I haven’t seen her in ages. But should I friend her? We were never very close and don’t have much in common.

Um. I knew him, but he seems to have taken a turn for the weird. Not interested in reconnecting.

Oh my! She was one of the kids I made videos for when I had a horse show video business. Now grown up.

Hm. Same last name as my cousin…but I don’t know them. Must be in-laws of cousins?

It’s surprising how many people stick with one focus or job or activity all their lives (still riding horses! still playing with that band! still working in IT!), and how many go from one thing to another. I admire the former a bit, but I’m one of the latter a bit.

Well, I didn’t add more friends. Trying to keep the information stream under control. But it was fun seeing so many people I might know.