Musings on friendship

We have just spent two beautiful weeks on Stradbroke Island, in Moreton Bay off Brisbane.

The view from our Straddie holiday home.
The view from our Straddie holiday home.

We make the trek over the water every year. My sister and her family stay nearby, Mum and Dad and my brother are right next door and my aunty and uncle, cousins and their kids are just down the road. It’s all highly jolly and a really awesome family time.

Every year I particularly enjoy catching up with my cousin’s partner, Michelle. She is truly a special person. She radiates warmth and loving generosity. She’s a liberal thinker and is super-smart. And she has a great sense of humour.

Whenever we’re saying our goodbyes I think it’s sad I don’t get to see Michelle more often. But they live in northern New South Wales and, well, you know…life happens.

On the barge home, I was thinking of Michelle. And mulling over friendship in general.

I think friendship is sort of chameleon-like, with various faces, smells and melodies. I love how it inspires a wide range of emotions; how its malleable form fills the different-shaped gaps in your life; how friends appear randomly for unknown reasons; how absent friends can be the most poignant.


I have some lovely friends who I rarely see, but when we catch up, it’s like the time and space between us has evaporated. I saw one such beautiful friend before Christmas. Another lives in country Victoria and when I see her we always say, “Wish you lived down the road”.  I have known one friend for over 25 years and I deeply value his cryptic mind and his scornful sense of humour, but if you saw us together we’d probably seem like the odd couple.

On the other hand, I have close friends who I see very often and they never lose their shine (like the irreverent, articulate Champagne Carolyn!).

Someone commented that I don’t let go of friends. I guess that’s true. But I am super sentimental. Each friend is so special and beautiful in their own way. They provide deep inspiration and I love they way each connection has a language of it’s own.

I couldn’t write an article about friendship without mentioning my absolute dearest friends, my sister and my husband. She is an angel. He is a rock. They are the funniest two people on the planet. Words can’t describe how lucky I am to be sandwiched in their awesomeness!

friendship sister and husband
Me with my bloody excellent sister and husband (the guy on the right, not the baby)

A truly beautiful and moving story of friendship is told by Patti Smith in her great memoir, Just Kids. Patti, ever so gently, details her deep life-long relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

Patti writes, not long before Robert’s death, “He looked at me, his look of love and reproach. My love for him could not save him. His love for life could not save him. It was the first time I truly knew he was going to die. He was suffering physical torment that no man should endure. He looked at me with such deep apology that it was unbearable and I burst into tears. He admonished me for that, but he put his arms around me. I tried to brighten but it was too late. I had nothing more to give him but love.”


Maybe today would be a good day to give some love to a friend, don’t you think? What great friendships have you had in your life?

Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.


  • Love this! Love friends… I’m a friend-hoarder too Ms G – I loathe letting them out of my life, but I am also (slowly) coming to terms with the fact that some friends are not for life… in fact, someone shared this with me recently:

    People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

    When you figure out which one it is,
    you will know what to do for each person.

    When someone is in your life for a REASON,
    it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
    They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
    to provide you with guidance and support;
    to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
    They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
    They are there for the reason you need them to be.

    Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
    this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
    Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
    Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
    What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
    The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

    Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
    because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
    They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
    They may teach you something you have never done.
    They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
    Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

    LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
    things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
    Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
    and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
    It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
    — Unknown

    Not saying I buy into it 100%, but there are certainly bits I like in there 🙂

    p.s. I quite like the jut of your jib Ms G – might we be friends?

  • Definitely, we can be friends, massively lovin your jib too Ms M!!!!! That is a lovely piece, hey, THANK YOU. I love the sentiment and absolutely agree that there are definitely people that will come and go (oooo sadface hahahahaha). But you know I do really think that being social and having friends and a solid support network is such an important thing in life. My mum who is a very perky active lady in her 70s is always banging on about the importance of getting out and about and hanging with different people and it is SO true. I think that having conversations, debates, listening, loving, laughing, hugging, supporting and being supported really enhance your life and maybe even prolong it! That’s probably a load of old shit. But anyway I’m sticking by it 😉 xx

Leave a Reply