I am now in my 91st year and I have been reflecting on the friends I have encountered during my life. Many have acted as signposts or guides, such as my Jungian analyst Dr Elkisch; while others have not been afraid to hold a mirror up to me, reflecting my faults or weaknesses – such friends are rare but so important.
I have been thinking also of those major loves which have profoundly changed me. These encounters are surely far from accidental, but rather, in some sense, inevitable. Why do certain people come into one’s life in this way, often when least expected? Were X and I meant to meet and come into a relationship, whether of love or of friendship? In many of our emotional and sexual encounters we are like passing ships, but there are those few relationships which become a long voyage of discovery.
And so one asks: Where does the attraction between two people come from? Is there a destiny at work here? Who can tell why some find the perfect partner and some don’t? How do they manage to be in the same place at the same time? If they had missed that moment would they have remained strangers?