We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
A friend asked me to walk, and
to look again at the scrim of our various vocabularies,
and talk between our veils. We walk, and are like two Eastern women
scurrying along, muffled, worrying. But, in good faith,
we are trying: the codes of World War II, the original texts, the Gaelic, the
amazing English, the Latin and Greek of our shared work – timeless and useless for
this conversation, we use them all. As long as we are talking, we are like a vapor; we are
the words rubbed from the school boy’s paper,
diverging like the two paths in the woods, like a million paths blown like smoke
on the wind of a chaff-burned field. There is maybe not a path long enough for our lines
of words to reach our lingua franca, and this in spite of our mutual affection for them all,
But the walking…is good. It is enough. It is born in companionship, forgiveness, it is a
long time coming and its chorus, silent and unwavering, runs like a river between
our paths, a river whose name is only…love.