You might have heard of a new form of language exchange entitled „tandem“. Two people of different cultures, speaking a language which the other individual seeks to learn or to improve, meet regularly and, well, improve their prospective language skills.
I am part of an Italian-German tandem, my tandem partner is wonderful Giulia. She is an Italian journalist and researcher, living 5 minutes away - and we both could hardly believe our luck. It is perfect to the T. Our language skills match (she is kind enough to not let me feel that her German is better than my Italian), we both honor literature and poetry. We both keep promises, prepare well and love to exchange articles or chapters of books. This is Giulia's beautiful homepage: http://homeiswherever.com/
The idea of the team has for a long time fascinated me. First of all, we can always learn from others and give at the same time, whereever we are and who we are. Christian Science practitioner Sue Spotts writes in her article „Some thoughts on companionship“ (CSJ 2013):
"Individuals of like purpose naturally end up in the company of others who are on the same route. And their journey continues, with the protection, strength, and support of additional comrades."
So far the idea of the team is represented with two individuals, and rightly so. But think deeper, and then you can perceive something like a divine entitlement to companionship, you perceive an idea behind the team. This idea by and of itself is with us, wherever we are and who we are. We are never without companionship - because it is inbuilt into our life as stemming from Life, God. We are never without companionship - although it takes sometimes a flood of tears to embrace this thought. The yearning to look behind the curtain of human experience helps.
That companionship is a present idea, is of deep comfort for anyone who lost a spouse through a tragic event or who has been dumped by a loved one, or who simply deals with the heartbreak at the end of a la relationship. The gentle companionship of Love is making itself known in ways that can't be missed. It doesn’t hurt to find some refuge in time-tested Bible wisdom, which sounds in the 54th chapter of Isaiah like this: "I made you. I am now your husband. My name is The Lord Who Rules Over All.“ This is more than just cold comfort - it is an invitation to anyone who is willing to carry on and explore companionship as an idea. You might be surprised to see the idea expressing itself in an unexpected way.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.