18 October 1974
You are right — Vasya’s death [Footnote: Vasily Shukshin died 2 October 1974 -Ed.] — it’s a link in the chain which ties us all together. We all really miss you here, love you very much and, naturally, we are waiting.
How is your health?
Are you able to receive books?
Write me (when you have a chance) if there is anything I could do for you now.
Here in Moscow it’s same old thing: myMirror was not being approved for half a year. But now I hope they approve it, either today or tomorrow. I am extremely tired of this absurd bureaucratic pushing around. I am leaving to spend this winter in the countryside by the Oka [river].
You understand — everyone in Moscow is stunned by your epic experience. It’s strange how before we allow ourselves to take care of and love one another, we so typically wait for untold cataclysms to occur first. And here, in truth, “no prophet is accepted in his own country.”
The only thing I’m sure of is your heroism which is your salvation. After all, you are a very talented man (and that’s not saying enough!) And talented people are strong.
Let all that’s best stay within your soul and lend you strength now.
I am embracing you, dear friend!
Larissa sends you her greetings and Gala Shibanova presents her compliments.
Your friend Andrei Tarkovsky