Love letter # 406
Yes, I get to receive your love, and for this I am honoured and deeply thankful – but more than this, you let me love you and that, my friend, that is where the profoundest, most liberating joy is to be found. For when I am in the act of loving you it is as though I am love. I can only hope that you too get to experience this extraordinary wonder.
Love letter # 457
It was at a wedding. Ten years ago, I think. At some point that day I realised that I loved you; or at least, that my thoughts kept drifting back to you at every moment when I wasn’t directly engaged. I woke the next morning feeling empty, knowing what was missing. Not merely your presence, your closeness, your touch – but what those things represented.
Now I know what it means to be known. To be recognised, to belong. To see another and, in that unerring reflection, to gaze upon the truth of self. Sometimes I experience this as a kind of music; at others as a mode of silence – yet always as the humbling liberation of formless beauty. The freedom that lies beyond the restriction of names. The unity awaiting us outside of the empire of I.
There is no thanks I can either utter or scribe that can fully contain the wave of gratitude I feel when I ponder this hinge in my life. I think back to that wedding, to that time, and I picture you, just around the corner. Waiting for me to notice.
Love letter # 591
Okay, so you’re probably wondering why I’m emailing you again after all this time – but let me assure you I’m not after anything. I’m not looking to push any buttons or play silly emotional games. I just wanted to say that I dreamt about you last night.
It was a garage sale scene; me wandering in off the street to find you and boxes of your heavily discounted history. I picked my way through the jumble, looking for who knows what, and we chatted with such casual, unaffected ease that when I woke up I was awash with a kind of contentment.
And now, hours later, it’s still with me. Maybe the dream, and all its obvious symbolism of clearing out the clutter of the past, has swept a broom through me.
This afternoon at least I think of you and am at peace – only the gentlest, slow moving wave of calm love coruscating in my body. All dramas ceased. All conspiracies forgotten. All bleeding stopped. Just the vapour of your long distance loveliness, which I am breathing in as I write, and a sea of undiluted affection.
Love letter # 405
Sometimes, it’s true, I wish I had never met you; but then I count up all the blessings that flowed from the destructive path that your advent tore through the city of my complacency and I am truly thankful. My dissolving at your touch was without doubt the most far reaching and ultimately affirming experience of my adult life. If I once cursed your name I whisper it now like incantation. If you were the lighter of fires, I have become the shaper of cinders. From the deluge you heralded: the river, the flood plain, the sustaining bounty. Thanks heavens I met you.
Love letter # 360
What is now obvious to me, and I suspect to you as well, is that there is a kind of love that transcends the usual bounds – that has nothing to do with possession or control and does not sit within the cutesy little ring fence of chocolate box romance. Indeed, it is a form of loving that outlasts being together. I am honoured to have had and to still share this remarkable bond with you.
Years may have gone by since the word ‘couple’ applied to us but in your presence, even on the phone, the indefinable and unmappable space we carved out of nothing when we were poetic and hopeful kids still nourishes me. I am thankful to have known the sublime recognition. Of another. Of myself. And each time we linger in this realm together I am reminded and confirmed.
I say this now, not because I miss it, for it is still here, but rather because that mad, heady promise of ‘love you forever’ looks almost certain to be upheld.
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 # 364
Forgive me, but there is a dreadful song that reminds me of us. It was a summer hit back when lust and opportunism threw us into bed and into our brief, optimistic affair. But hey, we were kids and hormones and hope were enough to obscure what we always knew to be true – that we were simply not suited.
Remember how your parents disapproved; how they wanted another kind of man entirely for their darling princess? It was fun for a while, wasn’t it – toying with their displeasure? Pretending to be teenage rebels? Or maybe that was just me.
Not that any of it matters now. Our lives have unfolded in their separate ways and time has dissolved any leftover pain and regret. Now we’re just like old songs. Accidents on the airwaves.
But here’s the thing, the reason I’m sending you this … that crappy old song took me right back to the brink of your kiss. To the night when curiosity and proximity took over. When I tasted you. Felt the solid, animal warmth of you. Had so many crazy, sudden ideas bursting in my head. And do you know what – just for a few minutes I missed you, almost loved you again.
Now, in the calm and mature morning, I am laughing at the cute persistence of my own folly but also I am acknowledging the fire and the sweetness and the validation you gave to me. In a way, from this distance, I can perhaps see you more clearly than young lust allowed.
So thank you. I know our little tryst wasn’t much – but it was something – and even now I carry the jewel of it in my heart. I hope, in some small way, that you do too.