Friends At A Distance: Anaïs Nin’s Birthday

“Nothing makes the world so spacious as friends at a distance. They make up the longitudes and the latitudes.”

Today is Anaïs’s birthday. She would have loved this Thoreau quote as she perhaps more than most, counted time not with a clock but a compass. So today in honor of her birthday we are celebrating writers in Italy and Los Angeles. The photo of Anaïs above appears in Anaïs Nin e lo Spirito di Bali by Emanuela Riverso which appeared in Dietro Le Quinte last August.

Recently Riverso has written a piece about Anaïs’s cherished friend and author of the memoir Anaïs Nin: The Last Days, Barbara Kraft.

Besides her friendship with Anaïs, Kraft became close to Henry Miller and Eugene Ionesco. It is this magical extension of the longitudes and latitudes of friendship (think Tropic of Cancer!) that has Riverso now outlining these fascinating friendships in Eugène Ionesco e Barbara Kraft: A Conversation. If you aren’t fluent in Italian hit Translate! in your browser…

There is a project in the works to make Kraft’s brilliant and unprecedented conversation into a chap book.

Till then, turn off your clocks, and pick up a compass, and today, call or write or see a friend at a distance.

I have a writer friend from LA who is now on a mini-sabbatical in New Orleans. And he is the first person I will write a note to today on my little pink mini-ipad, using of course that awesome app Penultimate! I think of him first as he envisioned, created, organized and then produced the sold out Anaïs Nin@ 105 at the Hammer Gallery at UCLA in 2008.

After that, compass and Americano in hand (not for nothing have I been dubbed the tall Americano) I will be wending my way from Chicago up north to interview my friend Judith Citrin. Citrin, like Kraft was a close friend of Nin.

So happy birthday to Anaïs. She would have been 110 today (Gasp!) But as Auden wrote so many years ago to a pal “So we’re a little older, friendship never ages” Rochelle Holt, Valerie Harms, Sas Colby, Donna Ippolito, Adele Aldridge, and I have enjoyed lovely years of friendship because of our Nin connection.