Saturday, July 2, 2016

Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel - September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016

(Bo and Davis, nabbed from Facebook today, obviously well and happy in their adoption home)

My college friend, Robin, posted this on Facebook today:

Remembering Elie Wiesel, who passed away today. We cannot rely on him to remember for us anymore. It is now up to all of us to remember, and try to do better together.

It was fitting this news came to me from a friend. He had this to say about friendship:

And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it.

I wonder, in all this media frenzy about US elections, Brexit, guns, and mass killing, whether he will get the remembrance he deserves--and whether we can remember (and keep in mind) anything he had to say. I know I was on my way to forgetting, until now.

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