Archives for posts with tag: friendship

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“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ALBERT SCHWEITZER  

ILLUSTRATION: Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet by E.H. Shepard

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 “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” MARCEL PROUST, author of Remembrance of Things Past

Illustration: Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh by E.H. Shepard

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AUTUMN 

Zen Poem by Taigu Ryōkan (1758-1831)

My beloved friend

You and I had a sweet talk,

Long ago, one autumn night.

Renewing itself

The year has rumbled along,

That night still in memory.

Illustration: “Early Autumn” by Qian Xuan (1235-1305)

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ANAIS NIN

by Henry Miller

With Anais I felt safe, secure. She delighted in keeping things running smoothly so I could write. She was really a true guardian angel, supportive and enthusiastic about my writing at a time when I needed it most. She was generous too. Kept me going with little gifts — pocket money, cigarettes, food, and so on. She sang my praises to the world long before I’d become regarded as a writer. In fact, it was Anais who paid for the first printing of Tropic of Cancer. For these reasons I feel utterly grateful to her. It’s rare to find a friend, a confidante, a colleague, a helpmate, and a lover, all in the same person.

Excerpt: Reflections by Henry Miller (Capra Press, 1981), edited by Twinka Thiebaud

Photo: Anais Nin, photographed by Carl Van Vechten (1940). Image courtesy of Marquette University Archives.

Note: Barbara Kraft has written a fascinating, compelling memoir about the last years of Nin’s life. Anais Nin: The Last Days is available at Amazon.com here.

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Renowned authors Shelby Foote (left in above photo) and Walker Percy (right) met when they were 10 years old and remained best friends until Percy’s death in 1990 (Foote passed away in 2005). Writers in the best Southern tradition, the two men enjoyed distinguished careers — Percy as a National-Book-Award-winning novelist and Foote as a historian and sometime novelist. Six months after Percy’s death, Foote delivered a moving tribute to his friend at a memorial service. Here is a fragment:

One secret of the longevity of our friendship was that each of us knew what would make the other angry, and we were careful not to venture into such areas—except on purpose, which would open the matter to drumfire argument and laughter, time and time again, all down the years.”

I read Foote’s eulogy in a wonderful book — just out in paperback — Great American Catholic Eulogies by Carol DeChant. While eulogies most often celebrate the departed, they are also crafted for people still very much alive. (Eulogia = “good words” in Greek!)

Great American Catholic Eulogies is available at Amazon.com