I’m guessing many of you know that Sam Shepard, …

the playwright and actor, died recently—and perhaps you know that Patti Smith, the singer and writer was his good friend. (She tells the story in her book, Just Kids). Anyway, Patti wrote a sort of prose-song to Sam after his death, and when I read it, it got me thinking about friendship.

About her friendship with Sam she said, “We didn’t have to talk then [when Sam was diagnosed with ALS}, and that is real friendship. Never uncomfortable with silence, which, in its welcome form, is yet an extension of conversation. We knew each other for such a long time. Our ways could not be defined or dismissed with a few words describing a careless youth. We were friends; good or bad, we were just ourselves. The passing of time did nothing but strengthen that.”

I started thinking about the friends I have and what they mean to me. How the connection is life-giving. It is as if we are constantly singing the songs of ourselves to each other in so many ways. When one of us forgets, the other sings a chorus and reminds us. Such a beautiful way of being together.

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