Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Stellar Friendship.  We were friends, and have become strangers to each other.  But perhaps this is as it ought to be - and we do not want either to conceal or obscure the fact as if we had to be ashamed.  We are two ships each of which has its own goal and course.  Our paths may cross and we may celebrate a feast together, as we did – and then the good ships rested so quietly in one harbor and in one sunshine that it may have looked as if they had reached their goal and as if they had but one goal.  But then the almighty force of our tasks drove us apart again into different seas and sunny zones.  Perhaps we shall never see one another again, or perhaps we may meet again but fail to recognize one another: our exposure to different seas and suns has altered us!  That we had to become strangers to one another is the law above us – by the same token we should also become more sacred to each other and the memory of our former friendship more sacred.  There is probably a tremendous but invisible stellar orbit in which our very different ways and goals may be included as small parts of this path – let us rise up to this thought.  But our life is too short and the power of our vision too limited for us to be more than friends in the sense of this sublime possibility.  Let us then believe in our stellar friendship, though we should have to be terrestrial enemies to one another.  
 

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