Today’s post will be a short one, to share this excerpt from Yiyun Li’s essay ‘Dear Friend From My Life I Write to You in Your Life’. She writes about a childhood friend who committed suicide shortly after they resumed their correspondence as adults. I think this is a beautiful reminder of the power of writing to connect.
I read Katherine Mansfield’s notebooks when I was having difficulties last year. ‘Dear friend, from my life I write to you in your life,’ Mansfield wrote in one entry. I cried when I read the line. It reminds me of the boy from years ago, who could not stop sending the design of his dreams in his letters. It reminds me too why I do not want to stop writing: the books one writes—past and present and future—are they not trying to say the same thing: dear friend, from my life I write to you in your life. What a long way it is from one life to another: yet why write if not for that distance; if things can be let go, every before replaced by an after.