Over the years it has become clear to us that those we love often bring great gifts with them – intentionally or otherwise – and that when we exist in a space of thankfulness for this we are able to regard even the various heartaches and disappointments with a kind of grace. Here below, ten of our favourite letters of gratitude from the Free Love Letters archive.
Love letter # 34
Before you, I practised guitar. Since you, there have been songs. You are the difference between the passing of the days and the beauty of the season.
I think of you every day – but some days I am awash; the floodplain in flower. Whatever I was before, I am new. Yours is the light that let me see.
I know what the fire is now. I have the ashes to prove it.
They say we pay for glory with blood. Let it be so. I would burn a thousand kingdoms for this. More. Such things are baubles. This is what matters. You being next to me.
I know it’s stupid – but then I am a fool.
Love letter # 101
I thought I was the king of everything – now I know I’m nothing. The castle I constructed has weathered to a stack of old stones.
Now I am poor and free.
I wanted what could never be given – and in that wanting’s honour I served dreadful masters. Grasping. Jealous. Vengeful.
My various masks cracked from the inside as a writhing wildness in my veins snapped whipcrack electric. It was the blood coloured me all along, struggling to get out, given fuel by hunger.
It took you to set me free – even if you didn’t mean to.
I fell at the foot of your stairs, truly humbled, and I rose again…cleansed. I am no saint. I am no wise man. Rather – I am like the sapling – fallen from the branches above.
I shall sleep under the sky with nothing – yet I shall be the richer – for I have found a way to give; and I thank you for this gift.
Love letter # 171
When I learnt to care about you I learnt to get over myself. Loving you saved me from the obsessive drama of the ego. Without necessarily planning it, you threw open the gates to something other than me, me, me – and as a result I am lighter.
The cannibalising introspection that ruled my days has become a night of splendour, a night spent loving you. By letting me give, you helped me loose the chains of control. Today the flag is unfurled, snapping gladly in the cleansing air. And why? Because what I always wanted was not mine for the taking – but mine to offer gladly.
And with your permission, I would be honoured to offer it you.
Love letter # 294
I am so glad you came into my life; even though it is apparent that you will not ultimately choose me. (Maybe I am wrong about this. Either way, that choice is yours to make – and I leave it to you.)
For my part, how good it is to be flooded with sweetness, to be transformed by a smile, uplifted by a small sign of extra care. In the end – after sex and novelty have had their sway – it is intimacy and recognition that will carry us through the night. Even as you withhold your kiss and bow to the fears that beset you I see how you have reached out – how your fingers have prised me out of the weave.
Though it may go no further, I thank you for the reminder – for allowing me the very idea that someone out there sees me. That somebody truly beautiful knows.
I have floated on this for weeks. It has washed me clean. Today I am lighter by the precise measure of your likeness. I wish you would fly with me – but even if you won’t I am grateful for the joyous elevation you have lately made possible.
Your airborne friend,
Love letter # 340
When I loved you in the absence of detail there was only love; and in this way I held you in my arms and looked into your eyes and saw that I was not alone. Thank you.
Love letter # 347
Rarely does it take more than a splinter of memory. A nuance of light. A scent on the breeze. Just a beat and I’m there with you; and once again it is obvious how I got here.
You were so beautiful I had to look away. Had to leave the room. Because I knew right away. It was there in your eyes, blazing supernova in an otherwise ordinary sky. Your grace was the melting of me, the line of your mouth the unspoken code, your movement the dance that unveils. I was stripped in a blink. There was no possibility of pretence.
Oh, how I wanted it – the cessation of games. The brutal magnificence of unadorned seeing. A pedant’s language dissolved into the purity of speaking. I would have yielded everything; and indeed I did. With abject gladness.
And then you took me in your hands and there was no you and I. Simply us.
I behold you now and, in spite of all the detritus of familiarity and the erosive banality of years, I revisit that shimmering moment of fusion, almost nuclear in its intensity, and I am humbled by your choice of me and thankful that I did not resist when first you promised to shatter me utterly.
And now I take your hand in mine and there is no me and you. Just us, as it ever was.
Love letter # 448
Love is like a carpark sometimes. Y’know, circling round, looking for somewhere to pull in. Hoping someone might let you in. There’s a distinctly numeric quality to it; something banal and utilitarian when viewed through a certain prism. Especially for those of us not blessed with the beauty, wealth or status aphrodisiac.
Into this category I most certainly fit. Just one of the many. A number plate in a multi-storey parking bay. Could be anyone really.
How fortunate I am then, that for reasons I simply cannot fathom, you hit upon me. You could surely have chosen others equally as suited – if not better.
Unspectacular though I am, I am not so foolish as to pick apart your reasons. Rather, I remain utterly grateful. In the lottery of selection that we ordinary folk are effectively condemned to, it looks like my numbers came up this time.
Honestly, I could kiss you for it. 🙂 xx
Love letter # 452
What, in the midst, seems hellish, will sometimes be revealed as deliverance. Thus it was with us. A journey into conflict that, in its denouement, yielded more than mere catharsis. In fire we saw, truly, that which was burnt. Which required burning.
Did we tear ourselves apart – make ourselves anew with the scatterlings? Were we the fissile material of necessary explosion? From this ledge of calm it now seems so. We are lighter by the weight of ruptured burden.
Our union will doubtless be cast as foolish by those who are not privy to the aftermath. What we discovered in drama and turmoil serves us well in grateful separation. I am glad you took your knife to my bone. You tore the skin off lies. Now I can breathe. Now I go well.
And you? I see you in flight and am likewise uplifted. Who would have thought – wings wrought from rock, plenty from penury? Yes, we took the long way round but what we spied along the way were the landmarks of nascent release. Now I honour the cell of our sorrows, for it has shown us the promise of joy.
Love letter # 762
I think you know how grateful I am. It could so easily have been different. A turn of the corner here, a small delay there, and the river of chaos that bumped us together would have swept us oblivious to destinations we can now only wonder about.
Our real fortune, of course, is that we both have what the other most wanted to find. Not missing parts but matching courage. The vision fearless.
Now we both laugh at the absurdity of those around us, at their ridiculous, ineffective levers of control. Together we have discovered the strength to reject all of their bloated ‘thou shalt not’ narratives, to see through the phoney divisions of class, gender and sexuality that those around us wished to have us accept. Have tried so hard to force down our throats. Only we don’t swallow.
Perhaps in a year or two they will be grinning triumphally saying ’I told you so’ but even if the grind and the differences do get on top of us we will have had the experience of today. We will have held out for something more than obedience and TVs. Than monochromatic suburban smallness. Than sticking to the party line and hating ourselves for it.
It sounds a trifle romantic, I know – but in your arms I have found stars hitherto unglimpsed. Reason for living scarcely permissible in the narrow, must have, status obsessed straits of work & spend, amuse & medicate.
Okay, so these fighting words may well come back to bite, but I will have loved you in the interim and known your love in return. For this, I shall forever give thanks. Because now that we are together we are scared of nothing – and I will never forget how good this feels.
Love letter # 870
After today I love you even more. It’s not that you’re suddenly better looking or more desirable. Rather, it’s that you have allowed me to be absolutely honest. And you have returned the favour.
Even now you know what’s driving me – sometimes eating me, scaring me, crushing me – you still have room for me. More than room. Genuine warmth. Kinship. I feel I can be me around you and not be punished for it.
But better still – you have shown me you – and I am deeply honoured and thankful for this. For you are more beautiful than I dared imagine and I am the lucky one.