The comfort of words

The other day I finished La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh by Philippe Claudel. It is a beautiful story of the friendship between two older men, both troubled by loss and loneliness, who sit together on a park bench day after day. They have no language in common, but M. Bark talks endlessly about this and that in his own language, and M. Linh listens. In fact each is the other’s best friend, providing comfort and contact.

A pretty picture, I thought, but could it really be so?

The very same week, Kate and I got our 8-week-old puppy Clancy. A new member of the family! — and the funny thing is, I talk nonstop to him about anything and everything. It feels good, it’s comforting, it somehow deepens our relationship.

[21 February 2021]

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