He writes,

I also often think of you,

a dear friend for more than half a century.


Fifty years! Longevity is indeed a mark of deep friendship.


You may have an acquaintance you see on and off over time.

Dear friends share deeper roots.


Mere passage of decades — seeing or hearing from each other on and off — is not enough.

It doesn’t earn the greeting “dear friend.”


There’s a specificity to deep friendship, many nodal points of contact worthy of singular celebration:

As I have told you more than once, I still have the old Collier paperback edition of

The Inward Morning that you gave me way back in June ’69.

You inscribed it: “To xxx, for a good spring of writing and wonder.”


And my friend then adds:

Whenever I ask myself if such a season of awakening ever really occurred,

this precious old artifact

floods my memory with all the assurance

I need.

Those were formative years,

for which I owe you countless thanks.



I owe my friend . . .

countless thanks,

deep gratitude.



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