Enough is one

FEW get enough,—enough is one;
To that ethereal throng
Have not each one of us the right
To stealthily belong?

~Emily Dickinson

A small one, but a good one. Few do get enough-but of what? If “enough is one,” then is “enough” referring to people? If we have one true friend, are we among the lucky few? But what, then, is “that ethereal throng”? Is the throng ethereal because it is actually small–a pair rather than a throng? Is Dickinson being tongue-in-cheek here? This poem reminds me of the following one:

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish — you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

~Emily Dickinson

In both of these poems, though in different ways, Dickinson seems to be arguing for the “select society” of the soul. I love her perspective on friendship, which is utterly refreshing in the age of social media–you don’t need many friends, as long as you have one true one.

So here’s to the real friendships, the unfiltered ones, the ones that last and grow and evolve and make us better than we were before.

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