I have found a wonderful new friend recently, and like any new love, it must be shared with others, so that the joy may be multiplied.
Have you ever been to some social gathering and met someone for the first time, and knew, almost instantly, that the two of you would hit it off and become good friends? I would like to think that this is how torrid love affairs come about.
Well, I have met just such a person.
His name is Michel De Montaigne, a French nobleman, who published his book “Essays” in 1580. My wife provided the introduction, as she got me his book for my birthday.
I had never heard of the man, knew nothing of his works, or couldn't have even have come up with a good guess as to what the book was about. My wife had selected a different book from the bookstore when she was shopping, but put it back and chose this one instead, because it looked more “heady”. I thanked her for the book, a handsome volume, and added it to the bookshelf, with the thought that I would get around to it when I finished with Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”.
It sat there.
I read when I get the chance, and that isn’t as often as it used to be, what with life intervening at every turn, (Work, kids, cleaning, cooking, etc.), but I still manage to turn a page now and then. I usually have a few different books going at once, and when I find a few spare moments, I like to read whatever I’m in the mood for. I try this and that. Comedy, history, fiction, biography, whatnot. Whatever strikes my fancy.
Michel De Montaigne was the first Blogger, or at least the closest that he could be in 1571. He coined the term essay, from the French word “Essai”, meaning “trials”. He wrote on whatever topic he felt he had something to say about, and wrote with the idea that he wanted to “describe man, and especially himself, with utter frankness” and to test himself to see if his ideas are his own, or merely a product of his time, place, and station.
It is very strange to pick up a book and begin to read and realize, as one page follows another, that it is as if you had traveled back in time and written and published a book, without your knowledge. The thoughts and language are more familiar than the sight of your own two hands. As if, in your sleeping hours, your brain just started to plink away at the keys and wrote about whatever came to mind. Books, friendship, liars, idleness, imagination, education of children, the custom of wearing clothes, and cannibals, etc. and you find a leather bound volume on your pillow in the morning.
It is stranger than that for me.
I can only hope Dear and Gentle Reader, that at some point in your life, you find a truly great friend. A friend that makes all others seem as if you have shared nothing more than a pleasant elevator ride. A friend that knows you as no other person walking this Earth. A friend that you can always trust, that loves you as you are, and always “has your back”, that does you a kindness, not because they expect something in return, but delights in your smile, and wants nothing more than to provide you happiness, joy, and fulfillment of your spirit.
Barring that, I would wish for you a really good book.
P.S.- To all of my friends out there, indulge me in saying to YOU, you are a sweet treasure to me, and I would lead a very poor and wretched existence without you.