A Love Letter
I say that in the same way I used to say hello to Mr. Smith when we opened our eyes in the morning.
It makes a kind of non-sense to say hello when we never said goodbye, but I say it in acknowledgement of a new day, a new phase, a new beginning for you and me.
So, here you are, and here I am. Hello.
And I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to turn my back on you, but you seemed to slip out of my life sometimes and I almost lost sight of you because you changed so much and you were hard to recognize. Time lost its grip and we fell into a surreal sort of stupor, you and I. We got caught up in a swirling haze that swept us to the surface and pulled us down again. We swirled upwards and downwards and every which way, sometimes flowing together and sometimes drifting apart.
With each re-emergence you were transformed and I didn’t always know it was you, even as I was bound to you by that pulsing, pliant cord.
You were easy to recognize when your face looked like despair and desperation; less so when you feel more like a raw emptiness, an unfillable gap.
Sometimes, as Mr. Smith in his ethereal form feels more present, I feel joy and I think I’ve left you behind because I believe, mistakenly, that you and joy cannot coexist. Then, again, you swirl back towards me in a new but familiarly insistent form. Pleading for my attention, begging for acceptance.
I didn’t try to push you away, I really didn’t. It’s just that your face looks so distorted and so unreal, and its forms are so diverse and evanescent, that it’s hard to have you and hold you. I didn’t expect you to feel like anger, for instance. I didn’t expect physical pain.
Now, I think, I know you better. I’m learning to accept your contradictions – your endurance and your volatility.
The way you make your presence felt at odd and unexpected moments. Often at inconvenient moments.
So here’s the deal. I promise I’ll notice you more. I’ll pay attention when you come asking for it. I’ll cry when you need me to, and I’ll find safe spaces to allow you freedom of expression.
In return, I ask that you give me some space of my own, to enjoy my life as I need to live it, at those times when you dive out of sight. Mr. Smith and I would both really appreciate that. And please, try to give me just a wee bit of advance warning of when you’ll be swirling back to the surface.
You’re doing great. You’re less in my face now, and more compliant with my plans to move forward. Thank you for that. I guess we’re together for life, and together we’re learning to get on.
I think Mr. Smith wants to thank you too. He and I are not just for life, we’re forever. Knowing that, I can just about accept my lifetime commitment to you. I can even welcome you, and appreciate the lesson you have to teach me.
I haven’t quite got it yet but I have a feeling it’s something to do with humanity, empathy, openness, what love really means.
Just don’t forget, we have a deal.