community, intimacy, togetherness, writing, writingfiction, writingprocess

Community, Intimacy, Family

Finding community that encourages communicating, building intimacy, and being loving can be quite a challenge, when people are more mobile than ever, super busy, and don’t focus so much on the face-to-face interactions.

But, we still crave it. Long for it.

One day, a store manager and friend at a coffee shop I frequent had new ink on his arm. I had to find out more about this detailed piece.


The three birds represent his husband, him, and their best friend who officiated their wedding.

And the scenery depicts the many hikes the three best friends have climbed together.

Each one has limited contact with their family of origin. But, they have come together to form a family.


They spend time together, talking and doing things as a unit, despite pain, hurt, and losses they’ve experienced.


Lily Chang © 2018

In terms of my writing, you know, the series I’ve hinted at here and there, the story starts with four best friends in their thirties, two women and two men, who have grown, matured, and weathered life together for over twenty years, in spite of the betrayal, damage, and pain experienced from their past.

That is all I’ll say for now.


What’s your story?

2 thoughts on “Community, Intimacy, Family”

  1. A story about your friend the store manager: I know him, too, of course, because we both frequent the same coffee shop. When he first appeared there in an apron, I was astonished by two things: He 1) almost instantly remembered my name and the obscure, picky details of my drink preference, and 2) also could remember the obscure, inane things we might have talked about the day, or even several days, before. I recall thinking at the time, “Wow, this guy is going to be a store manager someday. He’s good. He’s really good.” About a week later, I heard from one of the baristas I’d known for a long time that he was, in fact, the new store manager! Well …. of course, he was. That kind of barista business sense gets recognized quickly in an industry where most prospective employees (I put myself squarely in the center of this under-qualified group) would consider themselves lucky to manage to get a drink order mixed correctly on occasion and move on to the next person in line without spilling anything. Most remarkable however was that, over time, he proved far more than a mere King of Barista Business. He actually loved the people who frequented his establishment. The effect was profound: Sure, you wanted your drink. But you went to get it at that coffee shop, because it was his shop. If he’d have moved to another shop, you’d have followed him, even if you’d had to get used to a different kind of drink. His secret? No secret at all. As the story shared here confirms, he found community — family — where he was, with whoever showed up and was willing to metaphorically extend a hand of genuine friendship. What would the world be like if there were more of us who simply made a practice of intentionally finding community where we are? Loving those around us, just because they are there?

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