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Monday, October 26, 2020

Amy: In Memoriam

What author has touched you so personally that you've sometimes wished you had that author as a friend? I know I'm not alone among readers on this although it's possible no one will admit it here. No matter.

I clearly recall reading the NY Times Modern Love column entitled You May Want To Marry My Husband in early 2017 when it was published. I also recall being sad to learn that the author - Amy Krouse Rosenthal - died soon after. When my wife gave me a book of essays culled from Modern Love - edited by Daniel Jones - last Christmas, I raced through it, crying when I re-read Rosenthal's piece. Amy and I became imaginary friends that same day. 

This past week a good friend and I were discussing a different book we both enjoyed when Amy's name surfaced somehow. The day after our discussion, this friend thoughtfully loaned two of Amy's books to me, based on both our conversation and the love of lists that my friend, Amy, and I all share. For the first time in my memory, I then read two books by the same author back-to-back. The Book of Eleven (1998) and Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (2005) are both short, idiosyncratic, wonderful. If Michel de Montaigne were alive today, he'd miss Amy like I do.    

Have you ever missed someone you never met?



  1. My favorite thought from Montaigne has to do with major life decisions. He stated, and I agree, that many if not all of our major choices are made quite quickly without a great deal of reflection. They often turn out to be the right path. Perhaps there's an innate intelligence that we tap into in moments of great import that lives beyond our conscious intent. When it speaks and we listen, things turn out OK. Do we know what we need to know even before we need to know it?

    1. Steve; Comments like yours above make me so glad I started this blog 10 years ago. I wait for little glimpses like these to help me better understand both how people think and the things they've learned. In this case, your learning about Montaigne amplifies the little I know of his work. I believe it's fair to say that Amy Rosenthal's words were the catalyst for you & I to have a Spock-like mind meld here. If I'd never read Rosenthal - or understood her debt to Montaigne - which led me to write my post, I'd never have known what you learned from and retained of Montaigne's teachings. And, I'd have have missed the benefit of getting to know you a little better as well as better appreciating Montaigne's work via your concise and apt paraphrasing of a central piece of his philosophy. What a great question you ask in the close of your comment. I fully plan on stealing this question in the near future so thanks for reading, your comment, and being my muse de jour. Magic.