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Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Buddy Harlan

“I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes. Greater than survival, greater than love, greater even than the beauty it brings about. For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty. And without these, life is endless, hopeless, doomed and damned.  Adult. You have become adult.” 

                                  Harlan Ellison

This will strike almost everyone as "off-topic", and it is. But it's a personal post, and so here it is.

Last Thursday one of my best friends, author Harlan Ellison, had a stroke. It hit all of us hard, and immediately we worried about the state of his mind. Harlan, for those of you unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar with his work, is an absolutely brilliant writer and raconteur, who boasts a mind as quick as an IBM supercomputer.

Fortunately for the world, Harlan's intellect seems untouched. He's lost the use of his right leg and right arm. I've talked to him a few times and compared notes with others in his sphere, and we're all sanguine that -- at least for the moment -- he remains undaunted and unbowed by this turn of events.

Harlan is a genuine and good person. There are any number of websites dedicated to saying otherwise, but virtually all of them are put together by people who a) have a grievance, and b) don't know the guy personally but "Frank Blablah says he's a jerk". Being a jerk and not suffering fools are often two sides of the same coin, and the interpretation of which side is largely the point of view one has of the coin toss in question.

I expect to see him later this afternoon. Through Harlan I have managed to strike up friendships with some truly wonderful people around the world. He is also the truest, most steadfast and strongest of friends to have. He'd have my back in a knife fight any day, and vice versa.

Harlan, here's hoping you get better quickly and give the world yet another decade of your existence. 


Harlan and Susan