How deep can a friendship go?
Jill Mellick explores the grace, challenges, and gifts of an unexpected, instantly deep friendship with Marion Woodman. She documents with letters, calls, journals, memories, and photographs.
Timeless moments—singing, dancing, opening arms to storms, holding public events or retreats by the Pacific and on an island in Georgian Bay, home stays, creating words and music together—unfold. Across decades, they exchange letters about external and internal journeys. Their friendship and love endure, together, apart, through harrowing, life-threatening illnesses each; Mellick even secures Woodman a second opinion, which saves her life.
Riotous tales of travels gone right and wrong over home dinners. Laughter, love, and insatiability for natural beauty and bodies of water. Silent hair brushing rituals juxtapose with honorary doctorates. Loving poetry and dogs equally, with a dog as muse they craft Emily Dickinson and the Demon Lover and Coming Home to Myself.
The friendship deepens, strengthens—in a perfumed courtyard in Palo Alto under a night sky, on a balcony over Georgian Bay, on separate continents at the turn of the millennium, through illnesses denying contact—even in a last poignant, joyful meeting.
“In this amazing epistolary memoir, Dr. Jill Mellick penetrates the heart, reason, and spirit of a female friendship. This is her tribute to a budding and then flourishing relationship with a soul mate and colleague, the renowned psychologist and author Marion Woodman. Mellick, herself a scholar, clinician, and artist, reveals the sinews of the bonds—aspirational among women—-between them that permit trust, understanding, tolerance, honesty, and love. In turn, each woman truly becomes her authentic self. This is a beautiful and beautifully written tribute to friendship.”
-Edith B. Gelles, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford. Her books include Portia: The World of Abigail Adams, The Letters of Abigail Levy Franks, 1733-1748, Abigail Adams: Letters (Ed.).