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.
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.
Love letter # 469
The sheer power of a solitary word can sometimes be overwhelming; like when I struggle to say your name out loud. It is as though my body remembers the very shape of the breath it takes to form the sound and, in doing so, goes back in time. To the singing temple bell of your hello. To the warm sea of your gaze.
Someone asked me about you yesterday and at the mere mention of you I was not simply transported but shaken apart by the precise earthquake of one single word. Your name. Nothing more
Today I am wondering if there is anything else. Perhaps this amazing physical wave of surrender is the only truly liberating force available to us. The only thing that will take down the facades we so carefully construct to obscure the truth from ourselves.
Your name is the ocean – and even now I remain in its flood. What a sublime testament to the space we created in our time. Thank you, my love – for I am blessed once more.
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 # 397
I always loved you. It’s just that you never knew – or didn’t want to. Or maybe you just pretended. Never mind; in the end it saved us both.
Love letter # 316
Emotional availability, compassion, fearless honesty, the withholding of judgement and a sense of union. It’s why I still love you. Why we’re still we.
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,