Love letter # 409
There is always a certain moment in the changing of the seasons, when the first soft afternoon of spring fills the air with scent and beautiful light, when I am once again the young and hopeful fool who sat beside you in the dappled sunshine. I breathe in and my body remembers the electric shiver of your nearness. I close my eyes and I see you turning your face towards me; and for a moment I am awash and you are the promise of flowers.
Love letter # 357
Love is one of those words – ideas, tropes, clichés – that gets misused all the time. Mistaken for lust and ownership, dependence and habit. We have, I’m certain, each been guilty of all of the above. Yet still we remain, despite the inadequacy of words and the grind of years. In spite of all our flaws and everything we’ve been afraid of. Having outlasted boredom and survived the temptations of wandering eyes.
Why? How? What for?
Or maybe the reduction of so-called ‘answers’ makes them an irrelevance. The analysis pointless. The resulting labels little more than catechism. Indeed, perhaps it does not matter if we love one another or not – only that together we are both better. Stronger, truer, more able to deal with the world. Better equipped for time and uncertainty. For the commonplace and complacent cruelties that swirl around us. For the act of living and the odyssey of dying.
In some ways this isn’t really a love letter at all. But whatever you call it, it is an acknowledgment. A thank you. A form of ongoing pledge. My feeble paean to you. As good a promise as I can ever make and as humble a troth as I suspect you would likely accept.
Or shall we just call it love – and leave it at that?
Love letter # 502
In the beginning there was a kind of blindness. In the end I was staring at wreckage. In between there was you. Or rather, the manner of my breaking open upon your touch. The dumbstruck awe, the distemper of desire, the sheer terror that only beauty can evince.
You came, I fell at your door, you fled.
I chased, you ran even harder, and before too long even the angel of love had departed.
In pettiness and anger I blamed. In hurt I cursed. And yet, in loss, I soon found. With rubble I made anew. With time I gave thanks – for the ecstasy of your kiss and the wrench of its withholding. For the breath of your whispers and the silence that came after.
Now there is a kind of dust; the soft settling of memory and forgetting. I leave a trail with my finger – the surface shiny underneath – and I like the taste. Not just the ghost of you or even simply the echo of an erstwhile me, but something distilled and refined. An essence I could not detect in the flurry of the drama. That which has survived the fire. A rain of ash which is now a springtime of renewal. To which I am, at last, no longer blind.
The WordPress stats machine has just told us that freeloveletters.net has reached the 500 post milestone. This landmark could be a sign either of inspired vision or perhaps just middle aged delusion (we shall leave you to guess which) but one thing’s for sure, it just goes to show that as a topic human bonding and its countless variations on a theme are a potentially endless source of fascination.
So thank you to the nearly half a million pairs of eyes that have ‘viewed’ all these billets doux over the last six and three quarter years. Thanks for reading, sharing, liking and so on.
But we’ll be honest – we would like to reach even more sets of eyes, to inspire even more hearts and minds, to send even more messages of love, compassion and empathy out into the world. Because, let’s face it, there’s so much negativity and idiocy cluttering up the cultural airwaves and it is our belief – or at least, our hope – that the deep ties of love that bind us together are more powerful than the cruelties and greed that so often divide us.
So please, help us to share, promote and recommend this site to people everywhere. Help us get not just half a million but millions of views. Help us to send millions of love letters to millions of people, to remind them that amidst the dumbed down, jingoistic noise of newsmedia and Presidential twittering there is beauty. There is hope. That we are all here together and that we can, if we choose, prefer love over gold, kindness over fear and empathy over intolerance. For without eachother we are truly lost.
I know I’m not the first single, middle aged guy to be smitten by the shopgirl thing – and I’m sure I won’t be the last. Especially if the girl in question is as gorgeous as you.
It’s true I barely know you – just a name badge and beautiful smile – and I’m guessing that I’m not the only customer you charm with your bright and bewitching eyes; but I always love our random minutes together. In fact, the first thing I do every time I enter the store is to scan the space for you, hoping you’re rostered on, hoping it’s you I’ll get at the checkout.
When the grocery gods are on my side and I’m standing next to you, trying not to say something totally stupid and embarrassing, I always notice the rings on your fingers. And the playful spark in your gaze. The flirty tilt of your head. The curves that your uniform can’t quite hide. But also – something deeper. A person. A soul inside.
On occasions I have wondered if, in some small and discreet way, you are reaching out. Looking for something more. Daring me to cross the invisible line between us. But then I walk away and I’m sure it’s just a game.
I know why I’m playing it and I’m pretty sure why you do – but just in case I’ve got it wrong … I am here. Should you ever.