I have known Katrijn for a long time now. Many years ago she sent me a surreal email out of the blue. I did not know where she had come from or why she had chosen to write to me of all people, but it was very special thing to receive. I think it’s one of the best things anyone has ever written me. She is from Belgium, and because English is not her first language, she phrased things in a way that I would never think to phrase them. Which is to say that everything she wrote seemed effortlessly dreamy and surreal. I am sure she meant for it to sound at least a little poetic, but it was really beautifully written without feeling affected. Later she would send me handwritten letters on stationary she had got a long time ago when visiting Vienna. She has the most beautiful penmanship . . . you wouldn’t believe it! And I have kept them all in a box in my closet ever since.

All this is to say that she is an amazing person and a good friend of mine. We’ve only met once in person when she came to Oakland, but I’ll see her again in Belgium sometime soon. I said as much on the back of the Christmas card I sent to her and her family, which she tells me is prominently displaced on a shelf in her house as evidenced by the picture above. Wow!

Well: Katrijn, thank you for reaching out to me when you did. I was very lonely back then and it made me feel better to know that there was someone on the other side of the world who thinks many of the things I think and who feels many of the things I feel. I’m glad I know you. I love you forever.