Bob Schwartz

Tag: friendship

Reviving the Angel of Friendship

“Everyone has a light burning for him in the world above, and everyone’s light is unique. When two friends meet, their lights above are united, and out of that union of two lights an angel is born. That angel has the strength to survive for only one year, unless its life is renewed when the friends meet again. But if they are separated for more than a year, the angel begins to languish and eventually wastes away.

“That is why a blessing over the dead is made upon meeting a friend who has not been seen for more than a year, to revive the angel. According to the Talmud two friends who have not seen each other for a year say the blessing: ‘Blessed is He who revives the dead.’”

Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism

Friendly Fire and Ice

Friendly Fire and Ice
based almost entirely on Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say that friendships end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

With deep apologies and appreciation to Robert Frost for the misuse of his poem.

The phenomenon of friendships fading and ending is for me akin to observing or experiencing illness and death. Of all the many things I don’t pretend to understand, this is in some ways the deepest mystery. As many reasons and explanations as I can come up with—time, distance, divergence, ignorance—the extinction of the flame of friendship remains as chilly as the extinction of the flame of love. Maybe because the best friendships, for me at least, are identical with and indistinguishable from love.