A friend’s post this morning caused me to type out the first two paragraphs from Frederick Buechner’s Godric. There’s nothing I could possibly write today that could be better than those two paragraphs, and nothing you could do that would be more instructive to your writing and your being human than ordering Godric and reading it.
“Five friends I had, and two of them snakes. Tune and Fairweather they were, thick round as a man’s arm, my bedmates and playfellows, keepers of my skimped hearth and hermit’s heart till in a grim pet I bade them go that day and nevermore to come again, nevermore to hiss their snakelove when they saw me dragging near or coil themselves for warmth about my shaggy legs. They went. They never came again.”
“I spied them now and then, puddling my way home like a drowned man from dark Wear with my ballocks shriveled to beansize in their sack and old One-eye scarce a barnacle’s length clear of my belly and crying a-mercy. It was him as I sought in freezing Wear to teach a lesson that he never learned nor has to this day learned though wiser, you’d think, for sixty winters’ dunking in bone-chilling, treacherous Wear. Not him. I would spy my gentle Tune and watchdog, firetooth Fairweather watching me as still as death in the long grass or under a stone as I hied home sodden on cracked feet, but none of us ever let on that we were seeing what we saw until we saw no longer. I miss them no more or hardly do, past most such sweet grieving now at age above a hundred if I’ve got time straight for once.”