The Circle of Friends – invitation


Circle of

Welcome to the  CIRCLE of FRIENDS month of May here at Soul Gifts – Telling Tales!

You are invited to join me in celebrating friends and friendships in all their glorious colours, tones, shades, nuances.  Since I started blogging back in August 2015, I have discovered a whole other dimension to friendships on  the blogosphere. It was such an unexpected and very pleasant surprise.  My personal Circle of Friends has grown to include people from all walks of life. From all over the world.

Here’s how it will work. Every Sunday of May I will publish a CIRCLE of FRIENDS topic for the week. You are invited to interpret it in any way you like. It could be a story, a poem, a photograph, a quote, a recipe or something else that is entirely ‘different and you’ … there is no limit to how friendships are made, nurtured and rekindled. It might be about a random stranger who became a friend for just a  moment.  Or someone who has weathered all storms with you.  It might be about  non-human friendships. Post your contribution to your own blog with a link to the Circle of Friends.  Every Saturday I will magically pull it all together into a post so everyone can enjoy what has been shared.

Not a blogger? Doesn’t matter!  You can still take part by emailing me at , commenting at the end of the post. LinkedIn  and Facebook  are also options if you follow me there.

Take part in as many or as few as you like. The topics I suggest are just that – suggestions. You may have something else in mind. That’s fine too.  Or you may want to visit week 1 in week 4. That’s OK too.

WEEK ONE TOPIC : a friendship mud map

When I googled the definition of friendship I was not prepared for what came up on my screen. There was not one simple definition.  Friendships, it seems have expanded exponentially along with social media and the  internet explosion. Here’s just a small sampling of what I found : Bromance, Critical Friend, Cross-sex friend, Frenemy, Interspecies friend, Womance,  Showmance, Wilson the volley ball, Pen pal, Man date…

It got me to thinking about mud maps. My term. There’s probably a more fancy technical term for it. You know what I mean, those things that lecturers and social workers get you to create to identify all the important links and networks in your life. If you click this link it will show you some examples We had to create several of them when our life-and-everything-you-want-to-know-about-it was under the microscope for adoption assessments. I wonder what a mud map of friendship would be like? You don’t have to be literal about the interpretation of this! Unless you want to….


Listening to this might  get your creative juices flowing

  Friends – from Angry Birds Movie

Like, Share, Reblog. Let’s make this Circle of Friends grow!!

 ©  Raili Tanska

47 thoughts on “The Circle of Friends – invitation

    1. It’s a way of describing networks – often done in the form of creating a map showing links with arrows, or in layers with the closest being the most significant. Check this out – social network mapping. The idea behind this is to have people think about friends in a slightly different way – like if you were to actually draw a friend map where would you place individuals. I hope that makes it a bit clearer

    2. I’ve just amended the post a bit, by adding the link. I don’t expect people to literally create a mud map or social network map unless they really want to. You could draw one, take a photo of it, and post it!

  1. We called ‘mud maps’ ‘mind maps’ in the Education Department (Sth Aust), Raili. What a brilliant idea. My women friends are truly a great gift, for which I am so grateful!

    1. I think they have been called all manner of names over time. Friends are precious gifts in whatever shape and form they come into our lives 🙂

    1. Hello there Spiritualdragonfly, fancy meeting you here. And I thought I was the only loner with no friends lol. Most of my friends are virtual, met some great people on the AtoZChallenge, but would I really like to meet them in person? Blessings Joy

      1. Good Morning Joy!!! Like you, a good amount of my friends are via online….I’ve been Blessed to meet some amazing people!!! Looking forward to the coming weeks within this Circle Of Friends ☺️

    1. Thank you, weary Calen 🙂 I know I’m double commenting as I’ve already been to your place and left a great big muddy footprint there! I’m trying to work out this comment to pingback stuff as I want a footprint on my site too – but is it polite also to leave one at yours, or is it overkill ?!

      1. Thank you Raili. A strange thing happened this evening after writing that post. I had a friend from way back from the 1980’s contact me. She is now in New Zealand (I knew that) but her daughter lives 35 miles away from me in Glasgow, and my friend was there in February and I never knew. Still working on my mud map. Blessings Joy x

  2. LOVING the song you offered! Not much of a country fan, but there’s some that I do take a liking to. 🙂

    I also really like this idea… I’ll have to sit with the post for a while, right now, having just gotten over the A to Z challenge and my brain is mush right now. But I might jump in and do it later – if that’s okay. 🙂


    1. Great! I know a lot of people are experiencing brain mush fatigue with all the challenges that have been around. Perhaps my timing was a bit off – although it felt right to start. Anytime you want to jump, please do. There really is no hard and fast rules to this one at all 🙂 Happy brain mush recovery

      1. Actually you’re timing is perfect. The thing about being without a challenge is you’re left feeling like there isn’t purpose. I am just trying to catch up with myself. Soon as I get there, I’ll be back here to hop aboard! 🙂

      2. Great, look forward to it, Fim. I must say I was surprised at how I felt when I finished Photography 101 – a bit like a rudderless ship.

  3. I had a melt-down on the day you published this post, so it passed me by until today. I’m not a social person, and for me, friendship is often just a simple way to describe having my arm well-meaningly twisted behind my back. My closest friends are my family, and my children’s friends are the people I hold most affection for outside my family. They’re happy to enjoy my company when I come out of my shell, but don’t try to force me to.
    I’d like to tag along, but friendship is not one of my strong points – except when I find someone in need of it – so I’ll probably just dip in now and again.

    1. Whatever fits for you Jane, I appreciate your comments 🙂 Dip in or not – up to you! I did notice you have posted something for Wk 2 – haven’t read it yet.

  4. Hi Raili, I don’t want to be pedantic but it says “when you first started blogging in August 2016” should that be August 2015??
    Lovely story though. xx

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