Everywhere I’ve lived, worked and studied, and sometimes where I’ve even played (read: visited on short workshops or courses), I’ve been lucky to find kindred spirits. By this, I mean the kind of friends that, when you meet, it is as if you’d grown up as sisters. There’s a French word for it that can denote either soulmates or The Soulmate, depending on how you conjugate it: mes âmes sœurs*.
I think they constitute one of life’s greatest mercies, greatest favours. My soul-sisters are Malaysian, Romanian, Singaporean, Russian, Australian and English-Turkish. They were all chance-meetings: at choir, the girlfriend of a cousin of a dear high school friend, on the bus to work, at work, at ballet, at university, sitting on the stoop outside our houses in high school, having both forgotten our keys on the same day, and, of course, in high school.
These are the friends who can always make you laugh; with whom you can sit in amiable, comfortable silence, the kind who always seem to understand or who have treaded/trodden(/trod?!) a similar path.
The friends you laugh with till your ribs and face hurt so much you think you’re going to die from asphyxiation.
The friends you want to share your happiness and victories with when you are up and running, and who refuse to give up on you when you are down in the dumps, thorny and difficult to love.
The friends you can sit with and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (each) and talk all night.
The friends you “get”, and who “get” you.
How can finding each other be a coincidence? We are talking global, cross-cultural, random. It’s really not that small a world, and sure as hell not getting any smaller. They make the world a warmer and friendlier place. I have my doubts about god(s) and fate, but there are times when I just can’t overrule the existence of complicated and interwoven cosmic tapestry… and, well, it’s a faith I have badly wanted on many occasions, that sense of interconnectedness with humanity and the universe. I’m grateful that finding my kindred spirits provides that boost each rare time it happens.
*Okay, there’s some debate about the use of this term, whether it always has to be used in the romantic sense, i.e., l’âme sœur or whether it can be used in a more generic soul-sister sense, i.e., une âme sœur. I prefer to believe we have lots of soulmates out there, not just guys but also gal-pals, sisters from other misters, brothers from other mothers, that sort of thing.
Picture attribution: lastlemon.com