A Short Good Life

With You in Mind

For Shira Ruskay

If in writing I am on a journey to find myself, my changed and changing self, I also imagine that you are with me. In the process I hope to open my biggest heart as wide open as ever I have, to learn its deepest recesses, its very tissue. And I do so partly with you in mind as a person who also has done the same: faced and found yourself, despite enormous pain, in the face of enormous loss and vulnerability, in the face of death, rebirth, and now facing the nearness of death again. No way to know exactly how much time left, but very little, that much is sure, if anything is sure. And in the dwindling littleness of your time, your own journey ending before, as you say, going to the other side, every breath is important and precious. It is not that there is anything in particular that has been left unsaid, that I still need to say; there is nothing that has been left unsaid. We have had our goodbye, a good goodbye. It is only that I want to say whatever I say to you, for if in writing I am on a journey, you have helped me on my way, although how exactly I cannot say. When we first met you it was as though we were utterly parched from languishing in a desert, a desert we hoped we could cross but found it never-ending, too vast. We had survived on thimble-sized doses of water, and you expressed awe and appreciation. And as you puzzled, unsure you had anything to offer, you revealed a gorgeous oasis of fresh cool water, fed by an underground gurgling spring. And we could drink for the time as much as we wanted, restoring ourselves, despite the basic dilemma of being in a vast desert from which no escape. And so understanding our thirst, and satisfying our thirst, serving us, you opened yourself with such largeness unleashing a powerful healing force (I so wish I could do the same for you.) It is only natural for me to send to you my every writing, for you took seriously the idea that was hard for me alone to take seriously, that in writing I find myself, an idea I once held and then lost. And now, with your encouragement, I have embarked again and have cherished sharing what I could with you and wish to do so always, for if in writing I am on a voyage, it is a voyage I take with you in mind.

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