Monday, February 05, 2007

Tribute: Imogen

Immy, originally uploaded by frida world.

Imogen has had more reason to hate me, to resent, avoid, and disdain me, than anyone one else (as far as I am aware). Perhaps others have felt they have had reason, but I know that Imogen has had reason. Many years ago I received some information that I should have passed immediately to Imogen and I didn't. I made that decision at the time out of confusion and uncertainty, and believing that it was the best way for me to deal with a very bad situation. I was wrong. My decision compounded the already bad situation and also allowed it to continue. Imogen suffered, terribly. When, years later, I finally found the courage to tell her what I had known all along she was, understandably, furious and hurt and betrayed. By not telling her I had become complicit in the original wrong. For some time I thought that our friendship was over. But instead Imogen did something extraordinary. She forgave me and gave me the chance to earn back her trust.

Since then we have rediscovered the things that attracted us to each other in the first place, our similarities as well as our differences.

We have sometimes frighteningly similar taste. More than once I have bought a new skirt or top only to discover that Immy has something eerily similar. On at least one occassion we have separately purchased the exact same garment. I was given custody of some of Immy's things when she went on mission to Liberia and they fit so beautifully into my home that I could have easily imagined owning them myself.

We also do similar work, in similar kinds of settings, motivated by similar values and driven by similar beliefs. We both find similar aspects of this world (of development and humanitarian work) disturbing and similar aspects incredibly motivating. We've made some of the same mistakes and discovered some of the same truths.

But I have to point out that for all these similarities I think Immy is much more stylish than me, and a much better writer. She is smart in some ways that I would love to be, but have come to accept that I am not. I also find her fabulously funny, which is a quality I value very highly in a friend.

Above all, though, I will never forget what it must have cost Immy to forgive me and to let me back into her life. I will never stop being grateful for this second chance and for the extraordinary friendship that has grown out of it. I have many wonderful friends, but Immy has a very special place in my life and my heart because of the difficult road we trod together to get here.

15 comments:

paris parfait said...

Amazing photo! But your post is cut off halfway - sigh. Blogger and its woes. xo

runliarun said...

The people who never hurt us are sometimes harder to bear than those who do. And the hurt and forgiveness create a stronger bond than sheer serenity.

Regina Clare Jane said...

That is the sign of a true friendship... forgiving and being forgiven. They are both very special gifts for ourselves and each other.
What a wonderful tribute to both your friend and you, Frieda!

Alex aka Gypsy Girl said...

The challenges and the differences are a gift, when you have a friend like that.... With a strong enough heart to pick you up and take you in. Over and over again. We are all each other students and teachers after all. xoxx

Margaret said...

I hope Imogen gets to read your tribute. Good for you for admitting that you hurt her and that it wasn't the best decision that you ever made.

Alexandra S said...

This stuff happens and I'm so glad she forgave you because you each would have lost a lot on both ends. I think that in any lifelong friendship there must be room for a couple of these huge errors in judgment and it sounds like you two have many years ahead of you of growth and sharing and love.

[a} said...

The Prophet pbuh said that the strong person is the one who forgives, who controls their anger.

:D

Seriously love these tributes. Do your friends see them?
[The photo is gorgeous. She's the colourful vivid "center" :) and I love that wintry tree in the distance.]

turquoise cro said...

Who said it best," To err is human, but to forgive is DIVINE!" It sounds like YOU have finally forgiven yourself too! xo, Cinda ps. is there any pics of the children in their new woolies??? Those children look cold, especially their little hands!

megg said...

This was a wonderful wonderful post! I love that you pay such close attention to the people who mean so much to you - it is a real gift & I hope she reads it!

My Marrakech said...

the most beautiful and brave tribute yet.

Lacithecat said...

Wow ... its so easy when you are vagabonding across the globe to NOT forgive (you just move on). The fact that she took the time to do so and you cherish her for it says alot.

That was lovely. Thanks for sharing

Letha Sandison said...

I think you are both extraordinary to be doing what you are doing!

It sounds like you have an amazing friendship and I am glad you have stood by one another through it all. In those rare, life long, close friendships there has to be room for forgiveness and mistakes. They can be wonderful opportunities for growth and learning too and it sounds like it has been that way for you.

I enjoyed peering in on a bit about such a wonderful connection.

Mardougrrl said...

I love this post...I have someone in my life...or correction, someone who USED to be in my life, like this, and your fabulous post has me seriously considering reaching out to her.

Beautiful post.

AnnieElf said...

Immy has a truly rich heart to get past her anger and hurt and offer forgiveness. We all have the capacity for forgiveness but few of us exercise this gift, one the finest thing we can give to another. Her friendship is a shining star in your crown, Frida.

susanna said...

She sounds like an incredible woman, Frida, and a very, very good friend.