Better than the best cup of coffee

Pictured above: Joanna and me and the world's smallest park in Portland. (It's in the background, right between us...the little tree...see it?) This post is about Seattle, but I liked this photo. We didn't even call each other to coordinate wardrobes...we're that close =).
Oct. 26, 2008

Ah, Seattle.
Land of rain and coffee and free-thinkers.
A land instantly recognized by its Space Needle skyline.
And, most importantly, the land where Joanna lives.
Joanna was one of my roommates in college and is now one of my best friends. In April, I went to see Seattle and Joanna. This trip, I was in Seattle to see only my friend, whom I miss more than I’d ever be able to say out loud. (Not because I don’t want to, but because I tend to stumble over spoken words.)
Joanna knows I’m keeping a blog about my travels. And, she said, she can’t wait to see what I write about Seattle. Little does she know I’m writing about her…muwahaha. (Sorry, it’s Halloween, and I had to throw in at least one evil laugh.)
Seattle is a great city. I highly recommend visiting. Pay the money for the Space Needle. It’s worth it. Take a cruise. They’re fun. Drink coffee. It’s good.
Okay, enough about Seattle. Let’s talk about friendship.
Mine and Joanna’s friendship was not instant. It was not even fast. I would say, in fact, it was forced…at the beginning anyway. We were roommates; we had to get along.
I thought Joanna was loud when I first met her. She probably thought I was boring. But we got over our differences. And I’m glad we did.
We have worked through life’s joys (men; career changes; friend’s weddings and kids) and trials (men; career changes; friend’s weddings and kids) in countless late-night (or should I say early morning) discussions. In college, these were face-to-face in the blue kitchen of the Kearney House. Now these conversations are over the phone, but they are just as rich.
Joanna has taught me the beauty of vulnerability. I struggle with pride, and thus with showing the ugly parts of myself and my life that come with being human.
But, Joanna reminds me, there is sweet release in letting go of that pride. Doing so breaks down the walls and allows each person to love the other in spite of, and because of, their idiosyncrasies. And, knowing someone’s struggles and insecurities makes their good parts all the more beautiful. (Snot and tears smothering the receiver of a cell phone can be beautiful because, after the deluge, there is that quavering breath acknowledging it’s all going to be okay because God is good.)
Joanna has also taught me the importance of silliness and laughter. I don’t think our times together ever lack laughter. That is sweet. It beats rain and coffee and the Space Needle skyline any day. And yes, I did say coffee.

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