Saturday, January 28, 2012

I know what love is

June 19, 1937

Dear Cedric,

A strange thing happened to me today.  I saw a big thundercloud move down over Half Dome, and it was so big and clear and brilliant that it made me see many things that were drifting around 
inside of me; things that related to those who are loved and those who are real friends. 

For the first time I know what love is; what friends are; and what art should be.

Love is a seeking for a way of life; the way that cannot be followed alone; the resonance of all
spiritual and physical things.  Children are not only of flesh and blood - children may be ideas, 
thoughts, emotions.  The person of the one who is loved is a form composed of a myriad mirrors
reflecting and illuminating the powers and thoughts and the emotions that are within you, and 
flashing another kind of light from within.  No words or deeds may encompass it. 

Friendship is another form of love - more passive perhaps, but full of the transmitting and 
acceptance of things like thunderclouds and grass and the clean granite of reality.

Art is both love and friendship, and understanding; the desire to give.  It is not charity, which is
the giving of Things, it is more than kindness which is the giving of the self.  It is both the taking
and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit.  It is
the recreation on another plane of the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of
earth and men, and of all the inter-relations of these.

I wish the thundercloud had moved up over Tahoe and let loose on you; I could wish you nothing


Letter written by Ansel  Adams to his best friend, Cedric Wright 
Thanks to Letters of Note
Photo:  Peter Bowers