Van Gogh on Friendship

Thanks to a friend who gave it to me, I’m blazing through Andre Agassi’s fascinating autobiography, Open.  I may have some more to say about it down the road, since Agassi is a thoughtful person who reflects on so many different aspects of relationships and sports.

He opens with a quote from Vincent van Gogh in a letter to his brother.  It captures very nicely how close friends draw us out, shape us, and satisfy us with deep soul-resonance:

One cannot always tell what it is that keeps us shut in, confines us, seems to bury us, but still one feels certain barriers, certain gates, certain walls.  Is all this imagination, fantasy?  I do not think so.  And then one asks: My God!  Is it for long, is it for ever, is it for eternity?  Do you know what frees one from this captivity?  It is very deep serious affection.  Being friends, being brothers, love, that is what opens the prison by supreme power, by some magic force.

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