Companions

companions

“A good companion shortens the longest road.” ~ Turkish Proverb

Companion defined (Dictionary.com): a person or animal with whom one spends a lot of time or with whom one travels; one of a pair of things intended to complement or match each other.

This Thursday, a fellow blogger (Silvia Writes) asked readers “What type of music inspires you?” Answering her question was relatively easy yet it prompted thought about music as a significant companion. When we think of the essentials, we think about food and shelter. However, we often ignore aspects that are essential to our mental health. We do not normally think of companionship as something that’s essential. Yet research has shown that social interaction is crucial for one’s health. And music and companions are social.

When we reflect on companions we often think of a friend, a spouse, a significant other, a soul mate, an animal, a travel partner or maybe an escort.

companions2

Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches or good people and noble ventures. I like wine and cheese. I relish traveling with a curious travel comrade. And my two dogs shadow me wherever we go, often as unwitting accomplices. But these aren’t the same as having cherished human companions.

For me, music will remain a companion, an inspirational one at times. Just as time in and with Nature will always be a welcomed balm. But have you ever wondered about that human ‘match’? I do, sometimes.

Alas, before digressions co-opt this post, let’s circle back to Silvia’s question. A female vocalist who collaborates with the group Above & Beyond, Zoe Johnston, accompanies amazingly uplifting music. Here’s a clip of Zoe singing a favorite:

What is significant in a companion to/for you?

If you are wondering what contributes to making a good companion, perhaps these three considerations will help:

  1. They listen to you (and you to them). They’re not just nodding their head supportively while you talk. They are actually paying attention because they care about what you think and how you feel and what you find interesting.
  2. They have something in common. Companions have a balance of shared interests, but not in everything. Art galleries, trying new foods, hiking along a coast… What matters is some cross-commonalty.
  3. Life is a dance. Enjoy dancing (literally or metaphorically) with those who will complement your life. Bow out of the dance when it isn’t time to dance and welcome new dance partners as they join in to your life.

Image Credit: Flying Companions by Artsammich (Sam Nielson) Deviant Art

55 thoughts on “Companions

  1. “What is significant in a companion (for me)?” Being able to express myself freely, and having total trust in the integrity of the other. I don’t need them to be a source of social stimulation, and value far more their acceptance of me as I am over what they can offer me overtly in our companionship. I must say one of my best ever companions was my Border Collie, who was incredibly attentive and sensitive as regards me and my intentions – far moreso than I had the capacity to be with her, and far moreso than all but one or two human companions.

    • Lovely answer, Hariod. Trust and integrity…. pillars of significance. I love the view of a companion being incredibly attentive and sensitive as regards your (or anyone’s) intentions. How noble such companion to be! Now, where do we find these, outside the canine world? 🙂

  2. I have to agree with you, Eric. Music is a dear companion to me. The right type of music for the specific mood just makes whatever I am feeling/doing/thinking/etc. that much more.

    And of course, Zeke. He has been with us for 6 years but has been my companion for the past three. Always willing to sit by my side though, of course, he is positive that he is best for me when we are outside walking!

    • Zeke and music. What a dynamo pair! While we who have and value canine’s as companions know this, I believe a human companion who simply sits by our side, even in silence, is treasured. Glad both make it ‘that much more” for you, Dale!

  3. What is significant in a companion for me? Over the years my music changed to help me quiet the mind so I can meditate with the sound frequency. It changed everything in my life, my friends, my work and where I want to live. Indeed! I agree with you ‘Life is a dance’ the energy that surround us is part of our daily lessons with others: dog, cat, people, nature…Blessings! Diane

    • Your thoughtful comment seems to reflect some of what Hariod shared in an earlier comment. Truth, trust and integrity, when interwoven, are powerful. Sprinkle each with some of gentleness you reference and one possesses the makings for a meaningful companion. Thank you for sharing your warm view, Helen.

  4. Music is a companion for me as well Eric … and on further reflection I realize that my garden and being in nature are special companions for me too. Its where peace and contentment come to life. 💛

    • While music seems to be a companion for several readers, I am equally pleased to learn that nature and your garden yield peace and contentment, Val. I suspect many others would concur with you. Lovely comment!

  5. Eric, thank you for the mention. Delighted to see it.
    Music plays a huge role in my life — first due to my husband’s influence, but also, the companion role you described well. It is extremely important for both emotional and mental health. It relaxes and inspires me beyond words. Life is a dance!

    • My pleasure, Silvia. Another vote for music! While this does not surprise me it is, indeed, as you say, relaxing and inspiring. Now, if your husband dances as well as he creates music, you’ve got a keeper. 🙂

  6. Wonderful ideas and thoughts Eric. My sister is my greatest companion. We share everything. Music moves me too and being in Nature I learn to listen, and this reminds me I am connected to everything and everyone.

  7. What a nice topic! I honestly don’t know if I could survive without my most cherished companion, my husband. I light up when he’s in the room and I feel like I can do anything! He so supports and understands me, as cheesy as that sounds! 🙂 He has a lot of nicknames for me, one of them being, Velcro. That’s me!

    • Yes, the spouse. You are the first reader to acknowledge him/her. How fortunate you are, Maria, to have a companion who so supports and understands you. I suspect you count your blessings frequently. And Velcro, that is too creative… and endearing. 🙂

  8. Boy did I enjoy this post! 🙂 🙂 My husband calls me his “lifetime travel buddy.” We’re about to head out for another journey, and being with my life companion has supplied me with more than anything I could have thought I might need. I suppose, I was previously the type that wouldn’t have a match unless they were the perfect fit. We aren’t perfect people, but we do like to dance, even if awkwardly at times. I enjoyed your music add, Eric. Maybe in some way, we have to be our own perfect match until the real thing manifests in life. By the way, I did a meditation a couple of days ago where a penguin showed up, and I forgot all about it, until I saw your post earlier today. My heart is fully warmed now, thank you.

    • A typical bubbly, positive comment from Ka. Thank you for sharing your always encouraging personal views. Who says dancing needs to be precise? Awkward invites fun. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the music that accompanied the post. Here’s to endless, blissful travels with your LTB!

  9. Hi Eric,

    True companionship seems to me to be rooted in trust. This begets intimacy, which leads to discovery… I think… A companion is someone we can be ourselves around. We don’t need to fulfill any particular image they may have of us, and our role in their life, and vice versa. There’s an acceptance of one another and I think this alone releases a joy of being that carries the rest along. But I do think you’re correct we humans, as social beings, have a real need and yearning for companionship…

    Peace
    Michael

    • I like your inferred progression, Michael… a grounding in trust which enables intimacy, then yielding discovery – and quite possibly, wonder! I concur, we do not need to fulfill images, either way in a companion. When openness and acceptance are coupled in a companionship, the joy you speak of emanates naturally and flows, amazingly. Always love the depth of your insightful views.

  10. I agree with you Eric…wine, music and nature can be wonderful companions. Not only do they inspire but fill our hours with blissful solitude, provide time for introspection and self-analysis.
    A true companion is the one who understands you, your body language and mind without any words. His/her presence is enough to give you solace. 🙂

    • Nice reflection, Balroop. I like your acknowledging solitude as I believe it, too, can be a beautiful companion. There are many ways in which each of us finds peace, grace and strength in a companion. And “…without any words” is a deeply grateful exchange and state. Here’s to those who invite introspection. 🙂

  11. This is a happy topic, Eric. I appreciate nature as my companion, and music too – different for different moods. In a human companion I appreciate, in addition to the things you mention, the ability to be true to myself in their company … and to laugh together . A lot 😄

    • Ahh, yes, to be true to oneself in the company of another human. That is deeply special, Helen. I sense you are blessed to have such a companion. And we all know the nurturing power of laughter. Two great facets that contribute to a valued companion. Thanks for sharing them!

  12. Thinking through your post Eric, I realized I have different types of companions. I have a companion for every day, and all things we share together, and process together. I have companions at work who ‘dance’ through the complexities of what we do. I have companions who, like me, enjoy the laughter and puzzle solving of life and the experiences contained (or not!) in our daily existence.

    ANd often times, there is the music that accompanies us. 🙂

    • Indeed, Colleen, we can and do have companions for many walks of life. I wonder how often (the proverbial) we pause to consider them as companions, sometimes significant ones. And I love how many readers have acknowledged the role that music plays as a companion. Here’s to even more laughter with our companions. 🙂

  13. Thank you very much for sharing this precious article. Right. It’s important to acknowledge about companionship, … and with respect. I think making a good companion is a sign of maturity.

  14. Your essay really covers the important points of companions and friends. My first companions I value the most are my family, siblings, Mom, children and grandchildren. I have only a few long-term friends. I would like a partner but haven’t had one for awhile. Nature, art, music and books are mainly ways to enhance my life, Eric. I am open to adventures in travel or new activities. Thanks for prodding my almost “shut down” mind to produce thoughts. Please excuse if not fully coherent! 😀

    • Robin, if the post prodded you, then that is a positive outcome. It sounds as though you are fortunate to have many valuable companions, human and otherwise. I trust you will find ways in which to reinvigorate your interests in travel and new activities – with or without a companion. After all, we can also be our own best companion! 🙂

  15. I try to be a good companion to myself as well. I have kind of believed in the philosophy that the only constant company you have got is your own self – try to make it the most interesting version. And I agree, music is a balm and an answer which no conversation can provide at times.

    • Nice, Prajakta. A good companion to yourself! Yours is a lovely and honest perspective and one I suspect to which many people would agree. We need not always think of a significant companion in terms of something or someone else.

  16. Didn’t really know that the word companion exactly is associated with travel. It made sense. I’m ready to dance, and I’m looking for someone to dance with. 😀 If anything, music takes me places as well. 😉

    • If you’re ready to dance, Rommel, then you ought to put that in bold letters at the top of one of your always appreciated posts. Simply let your female readers know that your dance card presently has openings. 🙂 Between music taking you places, the amazing places you frequently travel to, and your expressed willingness to dance, I can see a queue forming already.

  17. So often music is considered a luxury. I think you are right, we don’t often think of it as a companion. But if we really give it consideration, I believe music surrounds us – we just have to stop and listen!And then we have the music we are all more familiar with, the music shared by wonderfully gifted individuals who share their talents for the rest of us to enjoy. I can’t imagine life without music 🙂

    • Thanks for expanding the post’s focus, Mary. Indeed, music… amazingly beautiful music, surrounds us. And at times (many for me) it is that ‘less familiar’ music that resonates with our core, delighting us with sounds that cannot be mechanically or studio created. Yours is a lovely and appreciated perspective.

  18. Wonderful post, my friend. #1…great point. Too many times, people just want to talk. Been guilty of this my fair share of times along the way, as we all have of course. 🙂 But yes, a great listener is absolutely a great companion. Enjoyed this post, Eric. Have a good one!

    • I find it fascinating and comforting that many of us have a treasured companion – outside what one typically thinks of as a companion. I can see how reading and writing poetry settles you, Audrey; it is evidenced over and over in you poetry. Thank you for your thoughtful share.

  19. For me I always wonder if someone would be a good travel companion. Some friends I enjoy but would not want to go on a trip with them. I agree with your three requirements. thanks for the recent visit to my blog and for sharing your positive thoughts on the issue.

    • Always nice to have you stop by and share your views, JoNell. I appreciate them and you. And I, too, have periodically wondered if/how some friends would make as travel partners, I guess there is one way to find out. 🙂

  20. Indeed, for some people a singular companion is all they need/want. Others may find room for multiple companions, not all of which or whom may be humans. 🙂 It’s the significance of a companion, in any given moment that makes it/them meaningful. Thanks for creating time to read and share a lovely personal view.

  21. Eric I love the company of the stillness, nature sometimes being on my own is the best companion, just me, if you cannot stand being with yourself well you have a big problem. Have a great week.

    • I *hear* and agree with you, Kath. Aside from my canine companions I consider myself to be my best companion and to your expressed preference, being with myself in nature’s presence and embrace can be sheer pleasure… and beauty. Thanks for your reinforcing reminder.

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