I get an abundance of e-mail every day, some say 'dear Richard, can you call my husband, he weighs 400 pounds...' or 'my 14-year-old is 200 pounds...' or 'I just got divorced, no one wants me, I am 500 pounds.' So I pick up the phone and I call people.
Friendship exists outside our modern economy of scarcity... It's not about apportioning vanishing resources of time and energy. Friendship is a blessed relic of the ancient economy of the gift, and the time freely given to people dear to you actually creates magical abundance.
Family was even a bigger word than I imagined, wide and without limitations, if you allowed it, defying easy definition. You had family that was supposed to be family and wasn't, family that wasn't family but was, halves becoming whole, wholes splitting into two; it was possible to lack whole, honest love and connection from family in lead roles, yet to be filled to abundance by the unexpected supporting players.
If you should ask me where I've been all this time I have to say "Things happen." I have to dwell on stones darkening the earth, on the river ruined in its own duration: I know nothing save things the birds have lost, the sea I left behind, or my sister crying. Why this abundance of places? Why does day lock with day? Why the dark night swilling round in our mouths? And why the dead?
I write abundantly. And then my next step is to struggle to reduce the ornament, to reduce the abundance-to prune the book, in other words, the way one prunes a tree-so it can grow. This is my idea of a book.