Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Front Porch Musings

Dear Darling,

I’m back on the front porch again, slowly rocking back and forth on the swing as I study the papers in front of me. The goal was to be out here and free of distractions, but it seems everyone is taking advantage of the unseasonable warmth. Motorcycles buzz by, a neighbor or two mill about, and the renegade mosquito or two are happily combing me for their next meal.

The sun is coating everything in an afternoon honey glaze, forcing me to retrieve my camera and capture some of this microscopic autumn beauty. There is unspoken poetry in nature. The leaves are gently dropping one by one from the trees, and I wonder if the leaf lets go first, or the trees. Then I think about how that’s a profound thought, and I’ll have to remember to tell you that.

And voila, suddenly I’m thinking about you again. I’m thinking about how you and I are hurtling along through time, apart from each other. I’m thinking about how the past is so fixed, the present is so fleeting, and the future is so uncertain, pregnant with joys and heartaches yet untold.

I wonder if the reward I’ve tried to be worthy of is simply the lack of negative consequences which I see evident in the lives of those who compromise…and hoping that the ending is actually the presence of joy, not the absence of unhappiness.

Fast forward to tonight. A fire and a movie on a dreary autumn evening, a bowl of ice cream in my hand and a cold rain falling outside. For some reason, I don’t feel like a black and white movie. I want my night to live in color, and take me somewhere other than this. It’s funny how today is my only day without obligation. Life is pretty hectic. It’s a game of whack-a-mole, and there’s so many that the end result is many of them are getting less than adequate whacks. You would laugh if I told you what is contained in my idea of a day off. I’ve had people tell me how I go nonstop, and am an overachiever. The problem is, inertia is a harsh mistress. The one day I have off, I busy myself with the million other tasks I assign myself, the mundane and splendid duties of life for a young bachelor like myself. Maybe one day, I should try just going and taking a nap under a tree in a pasture somewhere.

And now I’m here, wanting (as usual) to talk to you, and instead my lips are silent as my fingers and mind do the talking. Imagine if I had this energy to invest in you, Love. The friends I invest in (apparently poorly), my political work, my schooling, my writing, my jobs, my family, all might take a back seat to you.

I’m thinking about the people who were interested in me, but went away when I wasn’t interested back. Then they find a new boyfriend, and there’s part of me that’s mad and jealous of them. I could have made a minimum of efforts and secured someone the world considers amazing. But I knew they weren’t for me. So why annoyed when they quickly move on? What’s that all about? It’s like a child that has no interest in a toy until another child does. Part of me feels thoroughly less special (how do people settle into a relationship so quickly?) and I guess the rest is just jealousy.

I’m anticipating the things that are going to feel so right and so easy for us. The kisses. The elation that someone I’m interested in likes me back. The burgeoning amazement when we find we have so much in common, and so much more that is new to each of us…new, yet attractive and beautiful and admirable. The inside jokes, the senses of humor we share.

I’m thinking about how much fun we’ll have exploring each other’s stories when we meet, and when we’re married. I want to hear all about your childhood, I want to see the pictures and the home video. I want to hear it all. The pets you lost. The memories you made. Your crushes. Your 15 minutes of fame. How you spent your holidays. Your parents and siblings and friends. The houses you lived in.

I’m thinking you and I will enjoy inspecting each other for marks and bumps and scars, the stories of a lifetime. I’ve got a few to tell you about, but I’ll leave them to you to find…the scar from falling out of the top bunk years ago, or the remnants of a years-old spider bite.

I’m seeing the dreary welcome weather set in, and thinking of Enya’s lament, If I Could Be Where You Are that I posted nearly a year ago. I’m thinking of so many other things I want to say to you, notes I’m making for future letters.

I’m thinking about how you’ll make me learn about myself, and yet make me forget about myself.

And finally Darling, I’m sitting here tonight and thinking…I don’t know how not to want you.

Love always,
Beren

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts | 1 Comment

To You, From Someone I Never Met

Dear Darling,

Thought Catalog” often posts provocative, profane and petulant articles which give me to despair about the state of my peers and their sex-crazed pursuits. But once in a while, someone posts an article that truly does make me think, or reaches out to me in a special way.

Tonight, this writer described me perfectly. I do not know her. You already know I do not, nor have I ever had, a companion of such intimacy. Yet, her description rings true enough that I felt you should read it. It’s written as a former romantic interest to her ex’s future romantic interest:

I will wonder if you wear glasses, and when you take them off, if the sight of your eyes makes him melt as they did with me. I will wonder if he calls you the most beautiful woman on earth as well, and I will cringe in the possibility that he does, because the man that I know does not know how to love half-heartedly. He will go to any extent for you, and he will be fiercely possessive. And you know something? You will love every second of it, this possessiveness. He will protect you, he will daddy you over, and he will drown you in love.

I have one piece of advice for you. Never take his drive away from him. It is his fuel, it is the one thing that gives him the aggression to believe himself invincible. Believe in his drive, believe in his invincibility. Not that he can’t fall, but that there is no power on earth that can keep him from getting back up and going at it harder than ever before. Don’t take that away from him. If he loves you enough it will break him, if he doesn’t, it will make him bitter. He is an aggressive man. But it stems from the passion I am sure you adore. But he is as gentle as he is aggressive with the woman he loves. Deep down, he wants to love. He wants to give you every single joy in the world, and he will do anything in his power to see your face light up from the way he loves.

He will be jealous of your past, and yes, he will be unreasonable at times. Be patient with him, because when you are at your most unreasonable, he will gather you in those arms that can envelop your very soul, and not let you go until you sigh out your grievances. And he will take care of them for you. You are his woman, he is the one you can rely on; when nothing makes sense, he will set it right, by himself. He will never hurt you willingly, and if he finds out he has hurt you unintentionally, it will rip his heart out. And God save a third person who dares to attempt to hurt you. I was not kidding when I said he is protective — he cannot bear to see you sad.

Never sleep on a fight, because when you wake up, you’ll find him awake, because he can’t sleep on one. Never block channels of communication, never go that far away. It hurts him more than he can tell you. If he cries in front of you, let him. He needs it, though he will never tell you. Know that you’re the most special person in his life if he can just put his head in your shoulder and let things out. Do not try to make him stop, just hold him.

Love him — it’s the most rewarding experience you will have in your life. Don’t impose conditions, and he will make you feel emotions you didn’t know existed. He will teach you of the exact location of your heart, because he will constantly be tugging at the strings there, and it will ache for him when he’s away. He will tell you stories: listen to them. He has a wealth of knowledge he doesn’t know what to do with except share. There are aspects of his childhood he loves, and those he hates. Make him tell you both, because the ones he loves are worth being a part of, and the ones he hates drive him in some manner.

Kiss him. Kiss him for the sake of kissing him. Kiss him because his lips are the softest thing on earth, because kissing him feels like floating on wisps of cotton candy and tastes even better. Ask him to give you his superman hug, but be careful, your body can not take it for more than five seconds. Run your finger down his back, you’ll find this one spot that always makes him jump. Hold hands, you will know how much it means to him the first time you do.

Sometimes just put your head on his chest to hear his heartbeat. Think your own thoughts to the beat of his heart. It will soothe your mind and heart. But of course, you are with him now. You know all these things. You love him, and are intimately familiar with all his quirks. You don’t need me to tell you all of that. What I will tell you, though, is that you’ve got the most precious thing on earth with you, and you will cherish it for all your life. Don’t lose it, don’t waste it, and don’t squander it on petty issues. Let him take you to a world only he has access to. Love him, and let him love you, and I assure you, you will never be the same again.

Something to dream on.

Love always,
Beren

October 23, 2012 Posted by | About Me, Other Letters | Leave a comment

When’s It My Turn?

Dear Darling,

I hate that all of my thoughts lately seem sad and forlorn. You must by now believe that I am always sad. I’m not always. I think I am only sad when I think of you, because I want to talk to you and can’t. I want to be with you and you’re not here. I want to love you and cherish you and nuzzle you and hold your hand…and I can’t.

I wonder if I ever will.

I wonder when it’s going to be my turn? When do I get to lay down for a leisurely Sunday nap…with you sighing contentedly next to me? When will I have someone to bring home flowers to? When can I go for a Sunday drive to look at all these autumn colors? They only last a week or two.

When will I meet the woman who will take pride in bearing our children? When do I get to be the one posting blissful statuses, taking pictures of you and I together, making memories? When do I get to hold our first son or daughter, feeling so happy I could burst, and you sitting there in bed, exhausted and yet overjoyed simply because I am happy?

When will I know the someone that I truly connect with? The person I don’t have to hide any side of me, the person who would see  through me even if I did try to hide? Where is the person who will put a smile on my face just by texting? The person who makes my heart skip a beat when she gets out of her car, or butterflies just by walking through the door? When can I meet the one who makes me happy just because she’s alive?

When can I find the destiny I aspire to, not a fate to resign myself to? When’s it my turn to find the person who makes me be a better man, the man I want to become, just by being with her? The person who introduces me to the other side of myself — the thoughts I have but can’t voice, the songs I feel but haven’t heard, the feelings I know but can’t understand? When will I find the person who brings me peace, who helps me become me?

Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile being lonely with who I know my Father to be. He promised He would never leave me, and He never has. But He also made me to need you…to need love and kindness, hugs and the warmth of human flesh and bone. He’s not here to put His arms around me. He wants me to stand on my own two feet and be Him to the world. I know that is my ultimate calling. But we all hope for a reward. We hope there’s a causal connection between our decisions and the consequences, between action and outcome. Choosing righteousness should carry with it the scorn of the world, but also the smile of the Father. There should be blessings. We’re guaranteed to suffer and be outcasts in His name, and while I’ve not been thrown to any lions, I can testify that bearing the name of Jesus will isolate and exclude. Either I have not chosen righteousness, or the rewards haven’t arrived yet, or simply won’t.

You know, it’s kind of funny, but I don’t like to be served. And yet…I do.It’s a strange dichotomy and I don’t have it figured out well enough to explain it to you. If someone does something as simple as complimenting me, I feel in their debt, and immediately grasp for the debt’s repayment by offering them a compliment. If someone thanks me for something, I automatically say “thank you” even if I know I’m the only one that did anything. I’d rather do something myself than be served or waited on. And yet…and yet I want, desperately want someone to care enough to do that. If the things I do go unnoticed, I feel unappreciated and unloved. Maybe the results don’t matter…maybe I just want someone to try, to show me I mean something, that they care. I often feel as if those around me don’t care very much, or at least don’t show it.

I know you and I are going to become the most important thing on earth to each other, Darling, and that’s why I can’t wait to meet you. I know that even if we fight, even if the rest of the world turns against us, we’ll have each other.

I’m not sad all the time. I’m just lonely.

More than anything, I want the person who looks into my eyes with sincerity, kindness and love, peering into my heart and unmasking my soul. The woman who will let me empty myself of myself and give to her.

The woman who has been through so much, who needs saving and shelter and comfort, but looks at me and says “Isn’t it time someone saved  you?”

Love ever,
Beren

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Who I Need You To Be | Leave a comment

Various and Sundry Thoughts Pt. 6

Dear Darling,

How many are my thoughts for you, Darling. How many! It should probably concern both of us how often you cross my mind, but it isn’t that hard to understand. We have a lifetime to spend together. There will be times we’ll be apart, but the little moments and the big ones will add up quickly. Right now, you come to my mind quite often when it is not otherwise occupied (and even when it is) and I hasten to scribble those thoughts down before they’re lost. I’ve written them on note cards, post-it notes, on the back of old envelopes and receipts, in my notebook and on my cell phone.

It’s the height of autumn. The trees are in full display, and every morning I drive past a dozen landscapes meant to be painted and photographed and quietly absorbed with reflection as the sun rises. Of course, I scurry past them on my way to work and school. Activity is making these days fly past. I considered today a relative loss until I recounted all of its events and realized it was actually quite busy…and then I realized I have worked myself into an frenetic threshold of activity not to take a day and do nothing.

As I so often do, I wrapped a coat around me and stepped out into the night air. Here my thoughts and feelings and prayers flow and mingle, silently and aloud. It’s a true autumn night. The wind and rain have died down, with leaves and evergreen needles strewn across the grass and pavement. There’s a loneliness on the wind, along with hints of woodsmoke and snowflakes, and the brackish, musky odor of wet leaves and night air.

As ever, there’s a silent sadness out here. Maybe I brought that with me.

I’m thinking about the last four years and how difficult they’ve been relative to the rest of life. I wonder if that has anything to do with our country’s leadership, and am reminded that unrighteous leaders often lead to a nation being judged and lacking in prosperity and blessing. I wonder if that’s going to change in a few weeks.

I’m thinking about an old flame, or the closest thing I have to an old flame, and how she has been reaching out a little more recently. She’s going out with another guy, mere months after her last long-term fling dumped her. She once made me feel special. I daresay she has that ability for every guy she meets. I feel for her and pity her, as I can see the pitfalls she continually sets herself up for. Isn’t that always the burden of wisdom? I think sadly how if she had been a servant of Christ and had waited, we might have been married by now. As it is, she’s gone through three or more boyfriends since our fellowship was broken. Now doesn’t that make me feel special.

I’m thinking about who I want you to be.

Who do I want you to be? So many things. I want you to be a girl who updates Facebook and quotes Princess Bride, who takes photos but not the kind with pouty lips, who isn’t afraid of trying new things, who cooks and sings and stays active. Someone who can laugh and punch me in the arm, who can be kind and soft and warm-hearted, yet firm, solemn and sincere. A good comforter, who can be confident even in admitting uncertainty, hurt and confusion. Who can take initiative and lead, but also can follow gently and contentedly. Someone who is humble, yet knows she deserves to be treated like a princess — without taking her prince for granted. I hope to find you pure and proper, prepared for me.

I have to remember to take you as you are…flaws and all. We both have to understand there will be things we don’t like in each other that we must accept, adjust to and embrace. You’re not perfect. I’m not either. We both have to be good forgivers, Darling. We both have to be aware of our own minefields and frustrations in life and our triggers.

I thinking and wondering to myself, what if I don’t know happiness when I see it? I keep waiting for this new, one-upped level of happiness, something extrinsic to my existence that I expect to feel when I finally have someone with whom to share life and be intimate. What if it’s not there? What if I’ve already been as happy as I’m going to get, and am just too dull to notice? What if I’m waiting for some grand fireworks finale and it already passed? To be sure, there are happy times in life. Indeed, many would say my life is the envy of many. We all hope our better days are ahead of us, but what if I peaked early?

I’m thinking about the idea of ownership within marriage. I’m thinking of the novelty of calling you “mine” and you calling me yours, belonging to each other. I won’t just be my own self, you won’t be yours. Won’t that be a fun idea to wake up to? Looking at you lying by my side, realizing you’re mine, and I’m yours? I always loved Celine Dion’s Power of Love, singing “I’m your lady and you are my man.”

I’m thinking about the times when you’ll do things that lovingly, that no human being would normally do for another, and your only excuse will be “Because he’s my husband.” That kind of loyalty and love , even if only imagined, fills me to the brim with joyful anticipation and value.

I’m thinking about all those silly little things you’ll do that will make me fall in love with you all over again. Flattening your lips to apply chap stick. Laughing. All the organic foods you might introduce to my diet, all the candles and shampoos you’ll use. The times when you’ll fix your hair, or laughingly lick that piece of food off the corner of your mouth that I pointed out to you.

Maybe I’m trying to figure you out too much. Maybe I need to let you retain that beautiful feminine mystique.

What else can I do when you aren’t here?

I give you all my fondest thoughts, warmest regards and gentle smiles tonight, my dear…wrapped up in my unending love.

Yours,
Beren

October 20, 2012 Posted by | Anticipation, Loneliness, Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts, Who I Need You To Be | Leave a comment

Various and Sundry Thoughts, Pt. 5

Dear Darling,

There’s a stiff autumn wind blowing outside. The trees and shrubs are dancing violently in the wind, but it isn’t a cold wind. The sun rose strangely this morning, a hazy yellow pallor, casting afternoon shadows on the morning.

Sometimes, I want to pick a specific subject and talk to you about just it. Something that gives you hope, and thus give me another reason to keep going. And sometimes, I just want to open my heart and let all the thoughts and feelings come tumbling out for us to sort through together. It’s a dangerous hobby, especially when people you know might be looking over your shoulder.

1) Someone said goodbye today. Actually, I did. I had to, because we never could get past hello. There’s something ruefully liberating about letting someone go. You feel like your possibilities are suddenly open again…but so open that there’s no options. You feel like it’s okay to smile more at girls you don’t know, but you’re sad you lost a chance to peg down the rest of your life. Even if it never seemed like much of a chance to begin with. I guess God would send me the kind of person who has every appearance of being everything I ever hoped for, and have it fall flat. Long live the divine “Psych!” Maybe one of these days I’ll actually get close enough to hurt after a breakup.

2) Every night after I get out of the shower, I look at myself in the mirror and wonder if I’ll be handsome or desirable to you. I don’t find men handsome or attractive in the slightest.  I think you’d probably be pleased with my appearance even now, but it’s difficult because I’ve pulled a muscle which has been ludicrously slow to heal. I’ve had to pull out of most of my exercising, which I hate. By the way, just a heads-up, I plan on having a six-pack by the time we’re together. Like, I want to be your exact idea of what a man should be. It may not last, but at least starting out, I want you to have the best.

3) I took myself out on another date last week. I needed to get out of the house and create distance with some conflicts I couldn’t solve. And when you can’t solve it, distance is the next best thing. So I went to the theater. It was quite an experience, actually. The box office was sold out (weeks ago, according to some) but the Lord provided and was given an extra ticket someone didn’t use. It’s just as good you and I didn’t try to go together, but…still. You should have been there. The theater was crowded and cramped but comfortable enough. The music was decent. Afterwards, I went back to the car and passed a horse-drawn carriage taking a couple through the city streets. I never knew my city had them. One more thing to add to my list of things to do together. Afterwards, I would have offered you my arm and we could have strolled downtown. We could have walked by the fountain, not speaking, but thinking our own thoughts to ourselves and silently growing closer together. Maybe you wouldn’t have found Taco Bell the most romantic setting for dinner afterwards, but the hour was late, and I think I would have been perfectly content to stare over my nachos and into your eyes.

4) It’s a strange yet welcoming feeling when a stranger texts and, as part of the conversation, asks how you’re doing. It’s surprising. But, it’s nice.

5) I never get invited to weddings. Even a very good friend who shared my values and my heart for marriage and life somehow “neglected” to invite me to his. I’m not sure if not attending weddings is a good thing or bad. I think I would be sad at anything but a pure wedding…looking with irony at a bride wearing white when she has earned anything but. And it would hurt to see the wedding of someone and feel once again like a stranger outside in the cold, leaning on the frosty windowsill and watching the family sitting warm and toasty by the fire.

6) I feel like I show weakness, openness and vulnerability more than most people I know. Sometimes I think I should clam up more and show less of myself to the world. But then I’ve been told that I’m always the person giving, the person who is strong, the person who reaches out. People naturally assume they don’t need to reach back or give anything to me.

7) If you were to tell me you knew someone who is tall, relatively attractive (according to some), relatively athletic, intelligent, confident, hard-working, thoughtful, caring, decently selfless, virtuous, who has another “secret identity” of some renown, who works two jobs and is pursuing a solid, respectable and lucrative career, who sits playing sad love songs on the piano on weekends and spends study time writing letters to his future bride…..and then tell me that man is single, I think anyone would find it sad. Some would call such an assessment arrogant, but it’s who I’ve strived to be my whole life, always aspiring to be of the highest quality for my bride. I think upon reflection, watching the faithless claim their reward while the faithful bide in darkness, maybe I’d have been less careful. The Lord’s happiness is supposed to be reward enough, but…I don’t feel rewarded at all.

8) I love live jazz concerts. And I love beaches, provided they aren’t crowded, especially with mostly unclothed patrons. And I love you. I think, if you put me at a live jazz concert, on the beach, with you by my side, I would be in heaven. Heaven.
Yours ever,

Beren

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk About the Honeymoon

“What raging fire shall flood the soul!
What rich desire unlocks its door;
What sweet seduction lies before us!
When will the blood begin to race 
The sleeping bud burst into bloom 
When will the flames at last consume us?”

-Andrew Lloyd Webber

Dear Darling,

What comes to your mind when you think about your honeymoon? Where do you want to go, what images fill your head?

I had a friend tell me once, don’t go anywhere exciting and fun! You might wind up not even leaving the hotel room.

Tell me…are you the sort of woman that yearns for the day of consummation, when you will take your husband into your arms and make him your own? Are you desperately aching to retire the shackles of restraint and self-discipline and begin soaring? Do you ever have times when you cannot wait to make love, early, often and with great vigor?

My fiery darling, if that describes you, then…I’m your man.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as aware of sexuality as I am now. Of how it pervades society…of how it motivates and drives people. Of how it drives me. It’s the engine that keeps on revving in the motor car that must stay parked. It’s that sacred fire, sequestered deep inside, radiating endless heat to every pore of my body. It’s the unbidden urges, the ravenous craving for a warm body to embrace. It’s a beast, a raging, voraciously hungry animal. I have to crack a whip to bring it into line. That’s good for you, if making love early and often is something you relish. But it’s not good for me. Not now. I love that beast. It’s part of me. It IS me. But it can’t make the rules. I must be the master, force him back into the cage, because he doesn’t belong outside of it until the due time.

To be honest, sometimes it’s hard to remember that due time will ever come. It’s hard to have faith that one day I’ll go running down to that cage, smash the lock and fling open the door. He’ll be set free at last. I’ll be free. We’ll be free. And then everything forbidden and taboo will become not just permissible but mandatory! We’ll be free, free to burn in the white-hot inferno of love, to dance in the blaze of our primal, pure pent-up passion for each other. I’m zealous that we should share this only with each other; you know this. I desperately hope you will be speechlessly proud of me for saying no when my body demanded otherwise, and make me speechlessly proud of you for waiting. And yet, I hope that you will expect no lesser standard.

And what will that look like, Darling? Can you imagine? Can either of us even begin to envision the strain and cravings building up to the days before our wedding? (By the way, should we have a long engagement or a short one?) Two weeks to go? One week? What about that last night, each of us going to bed alone, sending some last goodnight texts and thinking “last night alone, forever”? I don’t know if I’ll even sleep. Not one wink. But that’s okay…because I doubt either of us will the night which follows.

When morning arrives, I have a hunch I’ll absolutely fly out of bed. I might flit around the room before hovering downstairs for breakfast. Maybe you’ll have beat me to awakening and will have sent me a good-morning text. (But no, the old tradition is not to see the bride before the wedding. I think we must agree not even to communicate!)

Imagine it: thoughts and butterflies and nerves all whirling and flashing about in dizzying haste, life slowing down and speeding up at the same time, heart racing as the ceremony commences. As you walk down the aisle all in white. Faces will be looking, music will be playing. I’m sure somewhere in the back of my mind, angels will be singing. We’ll say our I-do’s. There’ll be a kiss. We’ll greet the guests, eat the food, dance the dances. The sun will set. The hour to depart will draw nigh. We’ll hop into our JUST MARRIED car and take off.

But where?

Well Darling, of course you’ll have a say in that. But I’ve got Plans. Ohhhh yes, do I have plans!

I don’t think either of us will want to travel a great distance that night. As much as I’d love to take you through an airport security checkpoint with your gown on, show you off, let the entire airplane applaud us, I don’t think either of us will have that energy. So let’s stop at a hotel for the night and save the travel for the next day.

Can you imagine checking in at the front desk, the clerk giving us a wry smile with our room keys, and we two trying to keep poker faces as we head up in the elevator, stealing kisses the whole way? Hmm. I think I just decided we should get a private lodge or house somewhere rather than a hotel room. Yep. Definitely. One of those chalets in Gatlinburg, I should think. First thing inside the door, I’d say it would be time for some record-breaking kisses.

Will we want food? I think my stomach will just grin, give me the thumbs-up and say “to heck with dinner.”

Knowing me, I think I’ll be terrified it’s a dream and I might wake up. I might need pinching. (Maybe you’ll oblige me.) I think I’ll have that feeling of my gut dropping out, the gasping, gaping “this is finally for real.”

I suppose we’ll both need to shower?

We’ll both be nervous as anything. But I want you to know something right now. I may be a virgin’s virgin, but I’m not uninformed. I’ve done a little homework. I know the first time is often painful for women, and that men have a reputation for giving reign to instinct, turning into hormone-fused time-bombs that ignite too early and leave their partner disappointed. I want to be among the first men who prioritized their wives before themselves…one of the few guys who anticipated the problem and averted it. I want to go slow and let us both savor the moment.

“At the door of every bridal bedchamber, an angel stands, smiling, with a finger to his lips.”

Ah, and the morning after! If we even sleep at all, to wake up in each other’s arms, as the sun spills on the sheets and the birds sing, and we both arise, forever changed.

But what about that travel I mentioned? Darling, how does a private island sound?

How about an abandoned beach house, miles of uninhabited beachline and open ocean sound? We can dance like no one is looking, explore our temporary tropical paradise (and each other) together, and make love on the beach as the sun sets. We can go swimming in the ocean as the moonlight dances off the water, build fires on the beach, kiss each other madly as the tropic rains thunder down, watch the sun rise, go boating in the open ocean.

We will give each other wholly and completely to ourselves. We can share our secrets far from civilization where no one can hear. We’ll share our innermost thoughts. I’ll haul out the chest of letters that I’ve been saving for you, years of them, for us to go through.

It will be a honeymoon of great renown. We’ll remember it for years. You’ll be breathless to tell about it, your friends will be amazed.

I hope this indicates the kind of life I hope to build with you. I hope we’ll have the best relationship we can’t ever talk about. I hope you’re as hungry and eager as I am. I hope we’ll turn each other on effortlessly…that you’ll read the smolder in my eyes, and dare me with come-hither looks, even years later.

Let’s never allow the spark to die.

Now of course, all these plans may unravel. They say never to expect the perfect wedding day because nothing is ever perfect. The cake could be ruined, it might rain, the candles might set the drapes on fire, the dog could wet on your dress. The world could be tumultuous, the flight may be delayed, there might be war. One of us could be sick, or we could both wind up a little awkward, annoyed and unfulfilled on our wedding night. We won’t let the possibility of failure prevent us from striving for success.

And to think! These red-lettered days may only lie nestled among the next year or two of our lives!

I could go further. I think my meager gift of words might just be enough to arouse your desire and your passion for your husband like never before. But a knight and gentleman would not broadcast such things publicly. To do so would be unwise, imprudent and unkind. Discretion bids us close the lid on this box of wonders and speak no more of it until the due time. Love must not be awakened prematurely.

But oh darling….what a lovely way to burn.

-Beren

October 14, 2012 Posted by | Anticipation, Our Timeline, Our Wedding, Purity, Things Other Guys Won't Do | 5 Comments

The Lonely

“Dancing slowly in an empty room,
Can the lonely take the place of you?
I sing myself a quiet lullaby.
Let you go and let the lonely in
To take my heart again.

Too afraid to go inside
For the pain of one more loveless night.
But the loneliness will stay with me
And hold me til I fall asleep.”

Christina Perri

Dear Darling,

I don’t suppose most normal people spend a lot of time contemplating happiness, or its requisite ingredients. Most people don’t ask when or how or even why. They just chase it. They spend their time pursuing pleasure for pleasure’s sake, not asking what’s right, what’s wrong or what’s best. They complain often enough, but they also seem happy enough.

Those around me are telling me I’m not happy anymore. Some question whether or not I’m actually experiencing depression.

I’m not. I realize rejecting the claim merely feeds accusations of denial, but Darling, I’ve analyzed the question and am quite certain I am not depressed. That’s not to say I’m not struggling, or finding life more challenging nowadays. You’ve seen enough of my heart to know life without you has always been a challenge. And I don’t think that’s unfair. In addition to the old stresses, we’re adding new ones. The world itself seems to be growing darker. Kind and gentle childhood memories fade in the grim filter of the ugly present. In attempting to bear the burdens and encourage or uplift others, I guess I expected eventually my turn would come and somebody somewhere would give back to me, and they haven’t. Even my family isn’t the same anymore, facing the difficulties they are. The last pool of support and shelter is drying up, or poisoned.

They all say not to stake my last hope on you, Darling. They all say don’t build you up in my mind so that I can never be happy unless I get married. But isn’t that who God made us to be? He created us to need each other…He created us to need more than just Himself. Adam needed Eve. Funny how the people who say not to hinge happiness on one person I haven’t found yet are married. I should like to see them survive the battles and loneliness I have, to be as old as I am and still alone. And isn’t that what married people tell their partners all the time? I’ve read the letters, seen the poems, heard the songs. “I’m nothing without you. I’m everything I am because of you. You are my whole world.” They are honest to each other in this way. But either they tell flattering falsehoods, or they must concede that the man who is without his beautiful bride is the nothing, the absent, the lonely.

No Darling, until I find someone to share my company and my dinners and my heart with, I don’t see myself feeling completely fulfilled or at peace with the world around me.

That’s why I anticipate your arrival so much. Right now, my happiness is derived from achievement. I have to earn it; a striving, grasping, reaching sort of pursuit, which feels less like happiness and more like fulfillment, or personal pride of accomplishment. I’ve had some major accomplishments the past several weeks. But getting out on the beach is the only thing that made me truly happy, and even that wasn’t complete.

Now hear me out, I know that I cannot rest all my hopes of happiness on you. Nor can I expect that every moment of our lives will be happy once I find you.

What I can expect is less earning of happiness, and less effort spent in its apprehension. Happiness with you, Darling, will be involuntary. It’s going to be an uncontrolled joy that makes me feel like jumping up and catching the wind for a spin around a few clouds. It will be that irresistible upsurge from down in my core, that bubbles up in a sharp gasp of air, or a laugh, or just feeling like whooping out the window. It will be that stupid grin I just can’t wipe off my face.

You see, if I asked you to smile right now, it would require a small amount of effort on your part. Yet there have been times when the gravity reversed on the corners of my mouth and I couldn’t stop smiling. And yes, this has often been because I felt valuable and attractive to a girl because she showed interest or even encouragement.

If I were unhappy in the face of an unhappy, pressured, unstressed life, then I daresay I would be willing to consider being depressed.

My needs are few. Just one shoulder to lay my head on every once in a while. Someone to call on the way home. Someone to breathe an “I love you” in my ear without anything else on the end of it, someone to make happy. Someone to support me, kiss my face and stare into my eyes and make me feel ten feet tall. Someone who can be vulnerable and let me do all the same things to her.

As it is, I will continue coping and being amazing as best I can until you get here.

Oh, and Darling? I love you.

-Beren

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness | 1 Comment

The Lonely Questions

“Hard to be sure…sometimes I feel so insecure
And loves so distant and obscure, remains the cure

All by myself
Don’t wanna be
All by myself
Anymore…”

Celine Dion

Dear Darling,

Where do you go when you’re lonely?

Who do you call at 2am when your day didn’t go how you wanted, and you’re just frustrated and sad and want to talk? When you reach the end of yourself, who’s there waiting for you? Who do you turn to, who is your lifeline? Do you ever wonder if you’re the only one who doesn’t have that? Or perhaps if you’re just the only one who can put up with not having that?

What do you do with feelings you can’t act on? Isn’t that what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

Did you ever stop to realize you are getting too old ever to experience “young love”?

How do you deal with people who are interested in you without hurting their feelings?

Did you ever want to make people go away who aren’t the real thing? Friends who are somewhere in between being the right person for you, but not quite there? Don’t you ever get impatient and feel like telling them “if you can’t be the real thing, then go away and stop being halfway.” Doesn’t it just feel cruel to be with someone who is half the person you’re looking for?

Do you write letters to me? Did you ever want to show someone your letters just to show them who they’re missing out on when they reject you, or show them to someone because you know they’ll have a new respect and interest in you?

Did you ever get fed up with friends who always said “we should definitely hang out sometime!” but then always be busy? Did you ever decide you’d start ignoring those friends just to teach them a lesson, and it backfired because they ignored you back?

Do you ever feel that life would be forever changed for the better if you could just fall in love?

Do you ever get the feeling that if you could find someone as unselfish as you, you could have one of the most unique and amazing marriages in history?

Did you ever think about when you find a relationship, how you’ll do everything all wrong? How you’ll call too soon and appear overeager? How instead of making sure somebody knows your priorities haven’t changed just because they’re in your life, you’ll actually be reshuffling almost everything around them? That maybe you’ll be so happy to find someone who cares that you’ll unburden yourself too soon, or that you’ll be “clingy” because for the longest time you’ve missed having someone like that in your life?

Did you ever welcome the cold weather back like a friend, because it’s the only friend who understands how your heart feels?

Did you ever let the sky do your crying for you?

Did you ever feel like if someone would just make you their everything, if they just set their mind to winning you over, you could be so much better at everything in life?

Do you ever think about me and miss me? Ever long to take me in your arms and kiss me?

You may assume by now that your future husband is answering most of these questions in the affirmative.

Love,
Beren

October 6, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts from the Weekend

Dear Darling,

I stepped off the bus and headed towards my car. It had been a long day, though a former classmate shouting my name in greeting provided a momentary bright spot. It was a dreary day, but I didn’t mind. I like them. I’ve some stresses and pressures looming, but I’ll make it through them. There was nothing different about the day, but for some reason, I was assailed by an unusually strong dose of anticipation. It had to do with the song “I Just Died In Your Arms” on the radio, and for whatever reason, I suddenly felt renewed and violent pangs of desire and sadness — desire, for your arms to come home to, and sadness because I knew they wouldn’t be there. A brief trip inside the mind of having you in my life, and a sorrowful retreat from it. No fear, the moment passed. All too quickly…but not quickly enough.

I thought again how much I’ll relish picking up the phone to call you, feeling my phone buzz getting a text from you, playing Words with Friends. How am I ever going to keep my mind on my work? All I’ll be wanting to do is get back to my phone and see what you just sent me.

That was a couple of days ago. I’m afraid that then, and since, I’ve been spending the past several weeks cramming things into my mind that it doesn’t normally use. It’s been wedging to the side the things that come naturally, which only tonight flow back into their natural state.

It’s funny how sometimes you have to take a walk and let your mind unpack and decompress. I was quiet and reclusive at dinner and no one really noticed. I finally went for a walk and the thoughts began gently draining, interspersed with prayer. I realized I had feelings of anger towards a colleague who outperforms me at many levels. His knowledge runs deeper, his humor exceeds mine, and he performs better than I. Then I thought of a friend I haven’t spoken with in some time, and how she had received a minor injury. I had to ask forgiveness for the terrible sin of feeling grimly happy at the pain of another. It’s a maladaptive satisfaction of a primitive desire for revenge, and it’s silly and sinful. Things like her actions really shouldn’t hurt me. No one should have that power, except maybe you.

Breathing all those thoughts out and away, I looked to the horizon to see a dim yellow moon, waning as she rises. I think…I think that’s how I feel tonight. A little worn down, a little on the down-swing. Frayed. I have plenty of short-term reasons to feel that way, but even longer-term. I feel older than my years.

Sometimes I read these letters and think you’ll be wondering if I’m bipolar or have radical mood swings, because first I’m confiding dark secrets and sad musings, and then I turn around and weave promises of our happy life together. Maybe you’re going to have to teach me how to laugh and lighten up, but I’m not bipolar. If anything, take from it that I intend to give of myself to you even when I’m feeling bad. I’m just going to need you to be there for me when I am.

Anyway. So it’s been a busy week, full of many new experiences and thoughts. I’m not sure they fall into any specific category and so I list them independent of importance or relevance:

1) I cannot stand people who are infatuated with their own pretentious importance.

2) What if God isn’t training me for politics? Maybe I’m changing. Maybe God is, or His plan for me. My future seems to be. I simply feel a growing sense of hatred towards politics. Or at least the fact that I keep fighting and seldom see results, or am recognized for them. I had to speak at a conference, and I just wanted to get away from it all. I had to stand before a hundred people and impress them, and felt a resistance so strong I had to ask the Lord for the strength and enthusiasm to follow through. (He gave it to me.) Lights and glory don’t do it for me anymore. I don’t feel like I want to do what it takes to pursue the path I thought I was supposed to take. I’m not fake enough. I want to fix problems and have them fixed, not dwell in a perpetual cycle of prolonging the problem because I enjoy making money or attention from it. I shouldn’t be this easy to discourage. I got everything I wanted out of the trip, but I feel detached, like my trip was actually a movie I watched that faded with the credits. I feel like I became someone else for a weekend, immersed in a 48-hour getaway, and that was it.

3) I’m so looking forward to the freedom of travel with you…to make our own decisions and afford our own adventures. I don’t travel alone often, and compare most vacations to the family excursions, which were great fun, and we voted on activities, but to be alone with you and make the decisions ourselves will be fun.

4) A winking green light or vibration on a cellular phone can be a very cheering thing indeed.

5) I wish they would outlaw string bikinis. Seriously. Darling, I work with the human body all the time. Both genders, all parts. As much as I hate that my barriers to the human body were broken down in that way, it was somehow in God’s will so I accept it. But to see someone strutting down the beach in a bikini, and suddenly forced into the position of “look anywhere but there” when you can’t look anywhere BUT there, not because you derive gratification from it, but because, well, that’s some woman’s butt just flaunting and wiggling and strutting around, right out in public. I feel like a woman’s body should be worth more than that. This is a root of my anger towards those who don’t wait. They should be worth more. Sex should be worth more. It shouldn’t be cheap. As a man, I feel like access to a woman’s body should only come with 100% complete lifelong trust and commitment…through marriage. A man should earn and strive for that kind of trust. Flashing it out in public for anyone to see…or giving sex freely cheapens it. It depresses me that so many men take or receive such treasured goods so freely. It’s unfathomable to be so cavalier, so nonchalant. I hope it also means that something they didn’t work for means less to them, but you already knew that as a virgin, I am trying to suppress a growing resentment and hatred for cheaters. No one quite seems to understand this anger I feel. To me, it is perfectly natural. I do know one thing. The years of fighting desire will take their toll on us. You and I are going to have to be extra careful, or we’ll end up playing with matches in the powder room.

6) Every pleasure brings with it the pain of not sharing it with you.

7) My world is shrinking. It’s not that there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s just that under this stoic and impenetrable poker face, those things are less stimulating or surprising. I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie, but the thought of standing on the prow of a boat struggling against a headwind, a sea-spray and rain in my face, the possibility of failure and death looming, somehow appeals to me. There’s not enough risk

I want new sights, new tastes, new sounds and smells. Darling, I’ve done a lot of “big” things now, and I’ve found it’s the small things that bring the greatest pleasure. It’s not standing up before a crowd of important people and delivering a speech…it’s finding a peaceful moment on a deserted beach under a full moon by the ocean. Nature holds more meaning to me than a room full of applause. It’s the little things like going for a run, or finally having a weekend off, that make the difference. It’s a familiar face in a crowd full of strangers. It’s hearing your name shouted out, and turning to see a friend who is glad to see you. It’s the gifts of surprise and laughter, of knowing you can be there for someone, that they need you and you’re making a difference. It’s the stories you gather in life. It’s the things you think won’t be good that surprise you. I’d like to be surprised by goodness again.

8) How many times do you wait (in vain) for someone to show you they care before you assume they don’t?

9) Am I changing? I’m becoming quieter. I realize I laugh less. I’m not as funny with other people as I used to be, and I don’t know why that is. I feel like I’m more boring than I wanted to be. I think if you asked people who knew me, they would stoutly disagree, but I feel that way. I’ve always been a blend of introvert and extrovert, but maybe I favor introversion more these days. It’s always been an ongoing battle in life, to be open or closed. Being open is freeing. I hardly have anything to hide in life…I can afford to be open. But life cuts off your nose if you’re too open. People don’t like a guy who is open, because he makes them feel bad about having so much to hide. A girl was asking me questions about myself the other night, and in my typical frankness, I listed my traits, including faith and waiting till marriage. She, a believer, immediately admitted she was less pure than I. There’s too much shame and sin and regret in their eyes. I don’t want to exist to put people to shame, but nor do I want their shame weighing down my own shoulders.

10) During my trip, I saw so many happy, smarmy, cutesy little love bug couples. If they weren’t so spread out along my journey, I’d have called it a convention. They were clasping each other’s hands, nuzzling each other, stroking each others’ hands, arms, shoulders, kissing. So affectionate, so in love. Sometimes they caught me looking, or almost did because I looked away the moment they appeared to look my way. Oh sure, they’re probably doing it wrong, they’re probably just more cheaters to be angry with. I don’t much care. I’m glad to know love exists, to see it in practice. It’s funny to me how many people malign marriage and discuss their marital displeasure and frustrations. Most of them choose it. And all I can do is look at these happy couples, distantly, wearily envious, wishing it was us. Imagine people taking for granted the most precious and wonderful thing in their life. I can’t help but feel married life, even at its worst, is going to be better than single life.

I want, I need someone to care for me, to show me they care, to give of themselves. As I view the world around me, the mean and meager minds which weigh a man by his measure in money, or what things he can do for them, I feel even more alienated and estranged from them, from the planet they live on. I look at a person for what I can give them, what their needs are. That’s just how my brain works…how God made me. I can hardly claim sainthood. It’s probably actually selfish, because helping others makes me fulfilled and happy. (Sort of.) But every so often, I need that person who wants to know about me and only me.

Darling, my mind may be fertile and rambling, but it is not inexhaustible. Somewhere out there, I hope you are sleeping peacefully and dreaming wonderfully.

Me? I’m just sitting here waiting on forever to begin.

Yours ever,
Beren

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These, Purity, Sundry Thoughts | Leave a comment

21 More Things About Me

1. I’m strongly oriented around family.

2. I need people more than I care to admit.

3. I love music. If I’d had the talent to be a concert pianist or singer/song writer, I just might have.

4. I feel like life’s already too short. If I could live a few centuries, I would keep going back to school for more careers, skills and knowledge, and exhaust this planet’s learning opportunities, languages, travel and experiences.

5. Most people tell me I am an amazing influence for good in their lives. I wonder when someone’s gonna do that for me. I seriously don’t run into someone like that often, who just positively energizes me and reminds me of what’s right.

6. I fit many notions about the male archetype…but I also defy a lot of them. For example, I’d like nothing better than to sit and talk with you about how you feel. And I don’t much care for sports.

7. I like to drive with the windows down.

8. I somehow manage to lead a very busy life, and I think I like it that way.

9. I’m competitive, but mostly against myself.

10. Ear worms of all kinds tend to stick in my head, from Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen to Miley Cyrus, P!nk and Lady GaGa.

11. Self-deprecating humor is my natural compensating mechanism for arrogance.

12. I have a powerful and sensitive sex drive. Like, so sensitive that I actively avoid the lingerie sections of department stores. I wonder how satiable it will be once we’re married, and I hope you have an appetite to match.

13. I hate being scared. Not scared as in, will this storm get worse, but scared as in, someone popped a plastic bag in the store and jarred me. With my self-imposed mindset of preparedness, I get enough adrenaline wondering if I need to save a life or take one. My instincts and fight/flight response gear up and I don’t like that unless I need them.

14. I compartmentalize like a boss. I can be professionally invasive and hands-on with a woman’s vagina in the medical setting, yet object to the callous use of the word itself outside of the clinical setting.

15. I’m a little messy. My bed isn’t always made in the morning, and the bedroom isn’t always sparkling clean. But the important thing is, I’m not satisfied or content with a messy room or house, even if I have to let it stay that way while I work on the rest of life.

16. I’m nostalgic. You can expect me to remember important dates.

17. I read my own letters, quite often. They give me hope.

18. I have guns. What knight wouldn’t have weapons? You don’t mind, do you?

19. I pick at the hairs on my back all the time. They annoy me.

20. I like hats. Like, old-fashioned 1940’s fedoras. Don’t you?

21. I’ve been praying for you since I was 11. You knew that already, didn’t you? Well there you go. More than 15 years of prayer devoted just to your well-being and finding you.

October 2, 2012 Posted by | About Me | Leave a comment