Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Truth Comes in Friends: Nick Gough edition

In late 2006 my dear friend Kirk Glancy introduced me to a coworker of his, Nick Gough. Kirk and Nick would stay up into the wee hours after work at FedEx and talk fishing, camping, good books, and life. Nick was an English major, like myself. Kirk thought we'd get along and he was correct. We got together for a Halloween party and by the time the night was over it was decided that we would start a reading group together (let's not call it a book club). By the end of the next month we had read one of Nick's old favorites The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. The next month we read one of my old favorites Seize the Day by Saul Bellow. Here we are 37 books later and still going strong. The Glancys, the Goughs, and the Blakes have enjoyed mutual company many, many times since and I'm blessed to have all of them as friends.

If it wasn't for Nick I wouldn't be familiar with the phenomenal poetry of Billy Collins: "This is the first good rain to fall / since my father was buried last week, / and even though he was very old, / I am amazed at how the small drops / stream down the panes of glass, / as usual, / gathering, / as they always have, / in pools on the ground."

I wouldn't know the wisdom of Zorba: “I haven’t the time to write. Sometimes it’s war, sometimes women, sometimes wine, sometimes the santuri: where would I find time to drive a miserable pen? That’s how the business falls into the hands of the pen-pushers! All those who actually live the mysteries of life haven’t the time to write, and all those who have the time don’t live them!”.

I wouldn't have been blessed by the insanely inspiring verses of W.S. Merwin.
Good Night

Sleep softly my old love
my beauty in the dark
night is a dream we have
as you know as you know

night is a dream you know
an old love in the dark
around you as you go
without end as you know

in the night where you go
sleep softly my old love
without end in the dark
in the love that you know
(to be read in some far off day at Christy's funeral, in my own voice - God forbid)

And I probably wouldn't yet have picked up A River Runs Through It. Everyone has seen the film, but if you haven't yet picked up the book you are denying yourself a marvelous experience. To date one of the best books I've ever read.

Brother Gough takes his relationship with the outdoors seriously. I'm ashamed to admit that historically I've been the type who is quick to read about the outdoors and slow to actually take the time and effort to experience them (Zorba would be so disappointed). He organized a trip to Moab a few years ago that was amazing (despite rampant insects, sweltering sleeping arrangements, and a vomit incident on the ride home). His consistent and measured approach to outdoor recreation is as inspiring as it is amusing.

Here's to the love of and love for true friends.

Nick is a proud employee of FedEx and today he is featured on