Are Friends of Friends Friends?


For years I’ve played the game of  “Jewish Geography”  Come to think of it you don’t have to be Jewish to play.  It might be called Non-Profit Geography.  The people who run non profit agencies, all over the country, do political work, or other work where the work is hard to measure, since it isn’t sales and it isn’t production and it isn’t …. well it isn’t a lot of things.  Those people tend to know each other.

All over the country people are linked by the work they do, and the cities where they do it.  And, if, like me, you’ve moved a lot, you find you know a great many people.  For example:  I’ve lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba two different times, one when I was growing up and then again in my thirties and forties, for a period of about 15 years.  I lived in Indianapolis, Minneapolis; Madison, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland and Southern California (also twice).  The result is, on Facebook, I keep finding listings of people I know that I know, and those whose name I recognize, and those who are complete strangers to me, as I’m  sure \ I am to them, but apparently we know a great many of the same people.  Facebook says so.

Occasionally I strike a lucky name and find I can correspond with someone I really admire, a writer,teacher, rabbi, religious leader, or a new and spiritually gifted human being I never would have known, except for the fact that we have seven, 13, 18 or even 23 friends in common.

I find that amazing?  I”friend them.’ And, sometimes, they ‘friend’ me back.  And sometimes they don’t.  I can hardly be upset if they don’t, because after all, we might have three, 13 or 23 friends in common, but we don’t really know each other.  But, perhaps we will get to know each other, through wonderful observations, through the photos they share, the comments they make, the messages they send, or what have  you.

And maybe, just maybe, they will find my listing and my blog just interesting enough to read my books, encourage my writing or at least tell me to get back to work on my novels, and stop fooling around.  It’s possible.  So, friends of friends of friends: I welcome you to my world.  I hope that what ever holiday you celebrate at this time of new life, the only two I’m familiar with are Passover or Easter, but I’m sure there are others, I wish you well. One day our worlds  may expand sufficiently so that we are actual friends, not just friends of friends.

About Brenda Barrie

Brenda Barrie has had a career as a Jewish communal professional in her hometown, Winnipeg, Canada, in Minneapolis, Baltimore and Orange County, California. Previously a feature writer and editor, she has brought her range of skills and her travels to her two novels, The Binding and The Rabbi’s Husband, and to her volume of poetry, Full Speed. Full Stop.
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