Cultivate The Ennead Of Friendship

Ennead. Archival pen and ink on 9"x12" Bristol Board. Click to enlarge, perhaps you may see the ants!

This took forever to finish! I started this on my vacation and I thought I'd finish in a day or two. Instead, I slept, overslept and took naps.

I also wanted to make this drawing interesting since it was starting to bore me. Everything in this drawing is a pattern of 9. I hope you find the 9 ladybugs and 18 leaf-cutting ants!

An ennead is a group of nine. Get this, 9 is one of my lucky numbers! Nine is my dearest friend's favorite number, and actually I just got interested in it because of her, but now I like it.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about my friendships especially that some old friends have contacted me lately. These old friendships ran through my mind like newsreels and as they kept running, I kept smiling. I realized that I have so many friends with whom I have lost contact and when we reconnected it was as if we just left each other yesterday. A lot of them were my college classmates and my fellow staff nurses when I was in New Jersey. A few of them were my childhood friends.

I started thinking what made these friendships endure the long absence and separation, only to resume as if we have been together for years. I thought about the characteristics of these relationships and there were two or three traits that always stood out.

The first one certainly is Love. I loved my friends and they loved me. Just because.

Secondly, we admired and respected each other. As a matter of fact, I think this was how we attracted each other's attention, whether it was admiration for knowledge, talents, skills and traits. There was enormous respect for one another.

Thirdly, we celebrated our similarities but accepted each other's differences. I remember very well how my friends and I did together a lot of things that we liked but we discussed, argued, debated everything under the sun. There were varying opinions and sometimes we never agreed.

But we were honest and we were not fawning or sycophantic. In fact if one tried to fawn, we detected it and immediately would be turned off by the gesture. We did not agree to do anything that compromised our virtues just because we were friends. It was important that we remained honest to ourselves and with one another.

We were always kind towards each other. We loved to laugh at ourselves but never at one another.

The caring in our friendship extended to our other friends and families even if there was no direct contact with other friends. There was no competition for attention and no one ever told me not to be friends with someone they did not like. Of course, that was not necessary. Chances were, if they did not like a person, I felt the same way. Even until now, my old friends ask about my family and my other friends. We brought out the best in each other and we encouraged one another to grow and cultivate other friendships. We never took each other away from our families.

We protected one another. Even in their absence we protected each other. We did not tolerate bad things to be said about friends in our presence. We were loyal to one another. We looked out for one another and thought about each other in our absence.

We were generous and giving but not taking. Ever noticed how some "friends" only like you when you have something to offer or when they need something? I remember insisting on my friends to accept my offer and they in turn did the same thing.

We did not use each other.

That's probably why we are still friends after all these years.

I go back to work tomorrow after my vacation. I will be on call!!! Oh my.


Bella Sinclair said...

Awwww, this is stunning, nine hundred times over! Exceptionally magnificent! I will need to come back in the morning to absorb it with fresh eyes. Until then,


Kathleen Rietz said...

Wow, Ces, how wonderful. I LOVE this....it is truly one of my very favorite pieces of art by you. And I love what you wrote. How blessed you are to have such accepting and enriching friendships!

Rick Forrestal said...

Wonderful detail in your pen and ink. Wow.
Love your art.

audrey said...

I will have to study it for a while to find the ants. It is a marvelous drawing, Ces. You are blessed to have many true and good friends in your life.
♥ audrey

Julia Christie said...

Wonderful post! I just love this drawing, and your story of friendships renewed, faithful, 'real', friends is a very special one.

I hope not to be thought of as 'fawning' when I say I think you are a most unique and exceptional woman, and fiery in spirit to boot! I love that about you, especially as your personality comes through so strongly in what you create and share with us, both with pens and paint, and with words.

Hugs and smiles sent your way.

(we missed you this past week, but so glad you were able to relax on your vacation!)

William Cook said...

Extremely cool stuff. I ran into this ennead stuff about a year ago, just surfing around. I found it so fascinating. Specifically, this site is worth a look (Eclectic Energies):


It's an enneagram test with an instinctual variant. Apparently I'm a type 1 (reformer). I've no idea what that means, but now that you've brought it up, I'll re-read the discriptive materials on that site.

That is quite a beautiful drawing.
Great post!

Karen said...

So beautiful!

Linda Hensley said...

So beautiful! And friendships are beautiful too. Good for you to reconnect with your friends.

Bella Sinclair said...


Bella Sinclair said...

I see the cutter cutter ants! The thought of them destroying your beautiful leaves is upsetting, however. Although, since these are your ants, I would not be surprised if they cut the leaves into intricate designs.

Bella Sinclair said...

Why does the word 'ennead' not have nine letters? That does not seem right.

Nicky Linzey said...

I can only see the ladybirds. Beautiful as usual.

Janine said...

What an exceptional drawing.
This is absolutly magnificent.

Andrew Finnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Finnie said...

Okay my friend Ces I am refusing to read your writing so I can enjoy your work all the more

I am just going to stare at it for a while
(insert 40 blank lines here which is why I erased above post for reasons of screen real estate)

Okay I am back. Gobble smakcked as usual.
Don't work too hard. (Ps in England people pay good money to be gobblesmacked - you could make a fortune there. :) You would have to have a new card printed: Professional peach ice cream taster and Gobblesmacker)

3/22/2011 08:02:00 PM
Edit Gee I am starting to sound like Steve :)

Ann Marie DiVecchia said...

This is beautiful and I can see that you spent a lot of time on it...there are so many lovely details! I like finding hidden images. I found 8 ladybugs. Couldn't see the ants, though.
I enjoyed your post on friendship.

Steve E said...

Hey Bella--Why does the number 9 only have (nine) four letters?-grin!

Ces, I remember "Light Up Their Way" Oh, so sad...

Found first your signature carved in a stalk,
Then counted nine ladies taking a walk

I'll look tomorrow for the leaf-cutter Peeps and count some more ants (only saw 8 tonight).

FRIENDS--Oh where would any of us be without them? It's another reason this is called "Ces and her Dishes"?? (Ya see, I truly thought "dishes" meant all your lady friends. Even after explanations, I'm still not convinced it is not so...anyway, I hope you feel positively POSITIVE tonight, or tomorrow, whichever...

martinealison said...

Coucou Ces !! Je ne vois pas les fourmis je ne vois que de magnifiques coccinelles...
Je me régale encore une fois en observant ce magnifique dessin.
En ce qui concerne l'amitié, tu as raison un ou une amie c'est lui ou celle qu'on quitte un jour et qu'on retrouve plus tard sans que le temps ait pu changer quelque chose...
Je te fais de gros bisous...

Krista said...

What a lovely way to spend your vacation! Sleeping, making beautiful drawings and thinking about your friends! Perfect! (Although I have a sneaking suspicion you love your job as well!)

yoborobo said...

Ces, this is such a beautiful drawing. I love all those nines. :) You are lucky to have so many friends from your school days. I don't think I have one friend from college that I keep in touch with - what does that say about me? LOL! Happy Spring! xo Pam

Indigene said...

Awww...the amazing, incredible Ces! Beautiful post and fabulous imagery!

Rubin Pingk said...

That is one rad humming bird.

When I think about how much work each one of these must take I feel ashamed I don't work harder on my own art.

Really great work, as always.

Sympathy for The Devil said...

grandewitch i dont know if we ever meet but i hope we stay friends evermore?

sometimes i feel im gonna die soon.

Sympathy for The Devil said...

i'll wait at the edges for my ghost friend to rise until the end of time.

Sympathy for The Devil said...

as for this post and the 9 thing, i have something for you...

Sympathy for The Devil said...


bye, grandewitch.

Steve E said...

Guess the weekend is a more apt time to 'talk' with someone other than myself--grin! You people whio WORK make me, well...I wish--Oh! I cannot believe I'm going to write BAWWWWL! I WISH I WAS STILL WORKING!

Steve E said...

Yep! Agree (about alkies) For every ONE alkie, there are leftin the ruins from 5-12 people directly affected. THAT is the horror part of it all. And oftwn THOSE sick Peeps don't even KNOW that they are sick--they actually have the disease alcoholism also--except they just (some of them) do not drink.

God takes care of everything in the end--but He sure is slow about it

Good night, Ces, sleep well, the weekend is almost upon us

Steve E said...

Yesss, I was kidding about "still working" I've never NEVER been more happy with life. EVER!

Diana Evans said...

oh CES!!!! wow wow and wow!!! that Rooster firstly on your banner...holy smokes woman!!! that is amazing....I love it and secondly!!! these blooms....gorgeous!!!! you are on a roll my friend!!! friendships are wonderful gifts we have to cherish and enjoy each and every day!!!


Tammie said...

Such a wonderful piece with so many amazing details! So good to sleep sometimes....
a life rich with wonderful friends
so good
so good

Kathiesbirds said...

Love the intricacies of this drawing. I found the 9 Ladfybugs. 8 were kind of easy. The last 1 was hard. I hope you can adjust to going back to work! Will you work 9 hours? ;)

Sympathy for The Devil said...

okay i was in the bathroom taking a shower and.... stuffs (you know...)

i mailed you.

see you tomorrow, i'll let you know later!!!


Sympathy for The Devil said...

(hi Steve....)

Steve E said...

Ces, I am still contemplating--and loving--that line of yours re friends

"We did not use each other. That's probably why we're still friends."
What a sweet observation.

But I do 'use' my sponsor. If I find myself isolating for more than a half day, I call him, and he gives me the advice I need, or validates what I already know.

My sponsor is a spiritual, wise, and always available man. Just a couple years younger than I--but of course--grin! he LOOKS older!!! He even acts mature. HOLY CANNOLI!

Have a G R E A T weekend, Ces.

Steve E said...

Ces, I believe in God. What was the context? Never mind. God knows. I do call Him my Higher Power...because He has so many different names. But I must have been in a facetious mode...

I mentioned for you to have a great weekend--is it OVER already? I just had a little nap, About two minutes.

HEY! What are YOU doing up, Hmmmmm!
I'll tell my roommate on you! that is when I GET a roommate--grin!

Steve E said...

Well, I believe...in a lot of things. I believe the definition of God is LOVE.

I believe that God is in everyone, well, everywhere means everywhere.

I believe God uses us to communicate . he uses YOU in many ways.

You are the personification of LOVE (an action word, BTW) in that you are always giving of yourself to your family, friends, bloggers, your work. I hate to compliment you like this, but you can always buy a larger hat.

NOTE: I didn't write that you are perfect HAHAHAHA!

It seems strange to be writing in this manner to someone I do not even KNOW! But in a way, I DO know! OK?

Is today Monday? How was your weekend? Time sure flies, and so do flies. We don't call a rabbit a "hop" so why do we call a fly a FLY? Maybe it's a large flea?

"FLEA, FLY, FLO, FUM...I smell the blood of an Englishman." Oh sorry, I didn't want to frighten anyone, just a little children's story...

Why am I the only one laughing here?

Ces said...

Hmn...so was that a taradiddle when you said you did not believe in God in response to Andrew's comment?

Steve E said...

OK! NOW I remember--yes, a TWADDLE!

Marie S said...

I found the lady bugs and I found the ants even though I had to look real hard.
What kind of bird is that?
And the flowers what are they?
I really like this one Ces.
I like that it is mostly dark.
I think that those are the best friends, the ones where you can seperate and see each other again and it is like it was just yesterday.
Have a great weekend.
Madi just turned two. She is a big girl now ;-D

Baino said...

Wah I'm so late catching up. I agree with all you say in relation to friendship and true friends will always be there whether you're by their side or not.

Steve E said...

Sorry Ces..Last night I felt like writing a little rhyme, but hesitated to post it. Here goes:

Rhyme so well with FIDDLE
Need one to go with WADDLE
Who would guess? TWADDLE!

Never before had these to do with

Whether one believes in God?
Who made man--Who made sod
Made of same--ain't that odd?
Well, HE'S my connecting rod

Steve E said...

You DID inspire that, you know! I have to blame it on SOME one!

Steve E said...

CES! WHY did you disable 'comments' on your 'biographical photos, "CES AND HER FRIENDS"?

Anyway, I wish to say to you....I am without words! I could spend a whole weekend at your blog(s) without getting up to eat or sleep or...you know!

This "SHOW-AND-TELL" is truly the most fun I've had today...with the exception of receiving pictures from the Framing Art Store, just two hours ago. I'm going to highlite Linda's piece first, ya know?

Janine said...

This is really enchanting. Your drawings are so exceptional. You have an amazing talent.

Arija said...

Just checking in subliminally. Arrived home to night and am going on to a ten day workshop my darling daughter is giving a hundred miles away.

Fishing was great in that it gave me some lovely time by the sea to think in. There will be some pictures when I come back.

Glad to see you had a little holiday too and time to sleep and to be busily drawing. Nine is such a special number, my daughter was born on the 9th and I was born in the ninth month, so you see, I too have connections to it.

Lovyaheaps. I'll be back when I'm home again.

. . . Arija

Isabel Nadal said...


SummerMaconArt said...

Hi!!! This is Bearuh from the old Monday Artday group. I am starting it back up and would love to have you join! http://mondayisartday.blogspot.com/