Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Our House

“We’ll build a household of faith
That together we can make
And when the strong winds blow it won’t fall down
As one in Him we’ll grow and the whole world will know
We are a household of faith.”

Steve Green

Dearest,

Shall we speak a moment on our home?

A home can be a lot of things. Barring some unforeseen turn in our fortunes, it will probably have humble beginnings, although I have no small measure of confidence that you can make the best of it.

But eventually, I want a big house. Do you suppose it wrong or vain to want that? I do. I’d like to earn a big fine house, something not unlike a Victorian semi-mansion, with a whitewashed stone or brick exterior, lit up on the outside, with a roundabout drive and immaculate white pillared columns, or perhaps a front porch going all the way around. I’d like to have Christmas decorations every year that people come from miles around to see.

Inside, I’d like wide open rooms, vaulted ceilings and a fireplace you could walk into. I would adore a room big enough for parties and balls, not the drinking kind, but the genuine old-fashioned balls whereupon we can teach young men how to be gentlemen, and girls to be ladies. I would love to have Christmas balls and harvest dances, with classes a few weeks in advance to teach people how. We might, perhaps, perform the duties of matchmaking which, to date, no one has successfully performed for us!

I should like very much to have a library, and peaceful grounds with plentiful acreage for you and I to get lost in. And we should have a panic room installed.

Of course, this sounds like living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I have often wondered if God has in mind to bestow both, not (as I’ve said before) an end, but a means to one.

I would like that our home, in whatever form it takes, be a shelter and haven for those who have none. Women who have fallen prey to violence or trafficking, orphans, homeless, veterans. This sounds like a lot, and really, I don’t intend that you should be mistress and overseer of all these things. I’m merely saying that such a home as I envision should be a vessel through which we can show God’s goodness to the world.

But more important than cosmetics and details, what is the spirit and idea of our house? We’ll have children of course, and we’ll have to try to raise them as best we know how, with order and discipline and love. I visited a friend of mine this evening, and as well as dining with him and his pregnant wife, played with his daughter of not more than four years old. She was bright-eyed and precocious, just starting to become well-versed in putting words together for sentences of meaning. She giggled and presented me invisible gifts, paraded her Cinderella dress for me, and jumped in my lap. And thoughts of us and our future, never far beneath the surface, extended a few years beyond, into our children. Postpone it as we might, the day will come.

We must, first and foremost, have a home of stability and love amongst each other. We will have to communicate with each other, support each other, and try as best as two failing humans can to understand, work with and love each other. There can’t be any drinking or swearing, we can’t lose our tempers or lash out physically. We must make time for prayer and Scripture, and as the head of the family, I take full responsibility for that, relying on you for support.

For our children, we have to do everything as nearest to the Lord’s will as we can, with discipline and love, setting order and rules. We must never argue in front of them if we can help it, nor disagree on parenting or contradict each other when that correction is being handed down. We have to remember to act with grace, and at times, with mercy undeserved. (Oh how I remember the time my brother and I once wantonly disobeyed my parents, and how we were given reprieve from the discipline we knew we deserved, and feared!)

It is my desire that we school them at home as much as we can, since to place them in public schools is nothing short of turning them loose to the wolf-pack, trained and commissioned by the devil himself. It is ours to shield them from the harms of the world as long as we can, without raising them to be sheltered or shy. Learning should be structured, but it can happen anywhere. We should both try to teach them the skills that we already have, and learn new ones together. I also desire that by no means should we both work to their neglect. I’m not so adamant as to oppose you working if we can manage it, though my intention is to be a sufficient provider that you will never be obligated.

We should try to give them gifts and luxuries, while teaching them to be healthy and active and to work for what they get.

Darling, if at the end of the day we both accomplish much for the kingdom of God, yet our children do not follow His way, I will have serious concerns about my success as a father.

My first ambition, my greatest obligation is to further the kingdom of God and its testimony. My second is to love you and for us together to raise our children to be happy, useful and willing servants of the Lord.

If we can say, through failure but through Christ, that we achieved that, then I think I will die a happy man.

Yours ever,
Beren

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May 31, 2013 Posted by | Our Timeline | 1 Comment

Sleepless Sundry Thoughts

23. Unknown Artist - Lovers Under The Desert Sky, 1920'sMy Dearest,

Congratulations. Even separated by time and chance, you are keeping me up nights. I suppose the fact I slept in altogether too late has some small fault in the matter; my sleep schedule is a little messed up anyway, alternating between night and day labors. Did you know, in addressing you about them the other night, I hesitated to refer to them as shifts? I thought the word might seem too menial to you, to term my work as too diminutive. I suppose to some, it is. It is quite humble work, I won’t lie. But I know it will lead to better things, and I can take some pride in knowing I turned down some things which the world deems greater in order to pursue something higher. In recognizing my own propensity towards pride, I have often been grateful for the opportunities God has all-too-amply provided to remind me to be humble. In allowing me to be featured in the New York Times and USA Today, He has also granted my day labor consist of the sick and dying.

So! Since sleep eludes, what shall I tell you?

Shall I contemplate how you and I, on some sleepless night after we’re married, both have trouble sleeping, and elect instead to elope like the crazy young lovers we are, finding haven and communion under the stars? Shall I share with you the rapid dissemination of thoughts prompted merely by falling in behind a jogger whose scented perfume lingered? Shall I share with you why I chose the name Beren Estel as the pen name for your bridegroom? Shall I share how you will one day be irreplaceable, or how I realized that to love is to fear? Shall I share with you a list of the preparations about which I’m set about to better ready myself for your arrival, or the travel plans to which I am given?

All of them, you say? A tall order at four in the morning, but I will strive to oblige you.

First; today is the second day I have not worked. Fresh off some travel and much work, you would think I would be gratified for these two days, particularly when it affords the chance to do some writing and interviews, which pay ever so much better than my day jobs. Instead, I was restless and squirrely and bored. So I took my roommate’s dog to the park, the better for us both to get out and enjoy the weather. I happened to cross paths with the wake of a jogger whose perfume made me instantly think not of her but of you. (Unless, of course, that was by some peculiar chance you.)

I thought about how you will meet, fulfill, overpower and satisfy every one of of my senses. I am blessed to yet be in possession of all five; taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. To touch you…an honor beyond imagining. To see you…for surely in my eyes, if not in the eyes of all who see you, you will be the handsomest and most desirable of all women. To hear you…the joy of hearing your thoughts, your corrections, your affections, your laughter and singing and tears. To smell your perfume, your shampoos and conditioners and whatever other cosmetic products whose use you require. To taste your skin, your lips, the salt of your tears. To these contemplations the mind ventured, and then soared.

Second; why the name of Beren Estel? It is some time now I have been enthralled with the mythological works of Tolkien, and from his earlier works I have lifted the name. Far from the bizarre derivative fantasy worlds of today, Tolkien invented not a story but an entire world, with many volumes of back-history, and several languages based on his study of linguistics. To these volumes I owe as much as any my learning of poetry, writing and of dreaming. Beren means brave, and in falling in love with the elf-maid Luthien Tinúviel, princess of her kind and fairest of all, he fought through fire, water, battle and death to both save her and win her hand. She too strove at his side to help him in his labors, and healed him when his mortality overcame him. Her name means daughter of flowers. Estel simply means hope. And yet, there is a deeper concept imbued in its meaning, one of faith and trust. It is the idea that hope, or faith, “is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and first being. If we are indeed the Eruchin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by ourselves.”

So you see, my darling, that these names were not idly chosen, to deem you the princess of your people, the daughter of flowers and twilight, the fairest of all, and I assuming the mantle and responsibilities of the brave and faithful, who will fight as long as God gives breath in my lungs and you by my side.

Thirdly; Do you know what that means to be irreplaceable? We are likely both irreplaceable in some aspects of our lives, or at least to our families and friends. Were we to depart this world, there would be some aspects of our existence which could not wholly be healed or replaced. Yet when you become mine, and I yours, do you appreciate the significance of the fact that you will be utterly irreplaceable to me? Do you understand that this means no one else can ever, ever do what you do, or be what you be? One day, beyond the wildest of my dreams, you will tell me you love me. If that can be believed, then it must surely flatter and please you to inhabit the one form and existence without which I cannot live. The sum total of earthly desire and mortal longing, wrapped in skin and cloth and loveliness, surnamed Luthien, and one day bearing my last name. None other in the country, the world, the galaxy, the universe, has been created to be mine, or will be capable of bestowing or receiving the loving graces of my heart, to be needed and loved for no other reason than that I need you and love you. Though I yet know little of love, I know that it asks no permission of the heart, nor requires excuse or justification. I know that it is simply because it is.

Surely my love is a trifle and a pittance when weighed on this scale.

Fourthly, and in supplement to the previous; Surely to love is to fear! To love is to allow a portion of your essence and fulfillment to dwell outside of you. Life is no longer all or nothing; part of your heart resides with another, one who thinks, acts and chooses differently than you. The power to make them heal is also the power that can make them hurt you. To unite is to divide; to partake in the oneness of your soul with another, your world is split and a part of you is now in their keeping. Part of you can now be killed while you yet survive. I anticipate the mutual instruction of this fear!

Fifthly, owing almost exclusively to the providence of our good and gracious Lord, I have found several ways to travel quite cheaply to several nice locations. To Florida I return within days, and upon returning, I intend car trips both to the north and the south, as well as one more potential journey far to the west. A colleague recently shared with me the cheaper expense of travel by rail (wouldn’t that be fun?) and I recently uncovered opportunities both to Costa Rica and Hawaii for cheaper than most would make them out. Yet why should I go to Hawaii or Costa Rica? I have already discovered travel means less without you, and only makes me long for the days when you will join me.

And finally love, you will have to wait to hear my thoughts on the preparations for your arrival, but one more vision will I share with you before trying to sleep. My mind’s eye saw you again as I sat propped up in bed with a book in my lap. I saw you enter the room and regard my reading with some pleasure, while I regarded you and your entry with even greater pleasure. Your wordless approach, your wry and inviting smile as you wordlessly draw me in for a kiss, and more, reinforced my incredulity that you actually want to be closer to me. Far be it from me to deny the desires of my heart’s other half, but forgive me if I turn over the thought in my mind!

Here imagination must draw the curtain…but not forever. No indeed, not forever.

Love always,
Beren

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts | , , | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts for the End of May

“Golden haze; another morning feels like yesterday.
The end of may…and now you’re gone and there’s still bills to pay.
And you know it doesn’t help to make believe, you’re sitting next to me.
It doesn’t help, to make believe that you are right behind me
Saying ‘it’s okay’…”

Dear Darling,

It’s been unseasonably chilly the past few days. Low-40’s as May draws to a close is highly unusual, and given my recent switch to working a few overnights, I’ve felt the sharpest of the chill’s edge. Working overnights provides a different outlook on the world. The streets normally teeming with traffic are abandoned. You leave at last light and return after the first. And really, I’ve been surprised at my own adaptability to it. Never fear, I wouldn’t plan to work the night hours once I find you, but until then it’s an interesting experience.

Today I was required to work during sunlight hours. It was a heavy day, but that is so any time you stand as silent participant and comforter in the observance of a soul sundering from the flesh and passing from the world.

Nor indeed is it often (though not unheard-of) to offer counsel and consolation to a friend whose husband abruptly left her.

Meanwhile, another friend had gotten engaged, and my colleague of the day’s labors was a woman lately married to a friend I’ve mentioned before.

So I arrived home with marriage, death and divorce on my mind, having asked God to turn my head from thoughts of bitterness or pettiness.

I concocted an intriguing recipe of my own design involving chicken cubes, orange juice, maple syrup, apples, bananas and pepper which I shall delight in sharing with you some fine day. By necessity, your Beren is finding himself nearly equal to the task of cooking!

Outside, the night air is finally behaving like late spring. I step out the front door and the night smells like adventure. It’s the kind of night I would endeavor outside to walk alone. But alas, I’m now firmly ensconced in the city, with horrid lights and houses and neighbors. There is little to offer in the way of nighttime excursions, and I am confined to my dishes, my reading and my letters.

Oh yes, I’ve taken up reading again. This past year afforded almost no time for it and now I’ve resumed it.

And Darling, you may as well know, I am being taught a rather painful lesson on dealing with failure. It has set me back some months and some expense, and carries with it a frustration and a stigma that I find challenging. Perhaps I should be grateful the rest of the world is less judgmental than I, for if anyone else were to tell me they had failed, I would presume shoddy workmanship and lackluster effort. Yet here I know my effort was nothing less than my best, and yet it wasn’t enough. (Perhaps that is but one of the lessons I’m being asked to internalize.) The problem lies, I think, in suffering from an overabundance of critical thought rather than a deficit. And although only failures bother to offer excuses, it is my firm belief my work actually ought to have been deemed sufficient, for multiple reasons not up for dispute. Regardless, it has offered a stern check on my life and ambitions, and left me struggling to master a concoction of feelings such as jealousy, anger, shame, embarrassment and insufficiency.

Such is often my lot, to spin my many-splendored blessings into an unfortuitous tale.

Darling, here I must pause to ask you if you might consider this request, that when you must rebuke me, do it gently. We will fight, of course, and exchange heated words of anger. That’s not what I’m talking about. I mean that at times, people don’t understand me. With my blend of sarcasm and kindness, a sort-of weight in the heart from being alone and a buoyancy of spirit, people have been known to misinterpret me as haughty, bitter or mean. These people are then given to rebuking me in a manner not even fitting the notion of “wounds from a friend.” If…if you might just try being gentle in proposing an alternate means by which to draw my attention to my mistakes in this regard, I should be greatly in your debt.

I suppose, more than anything else, I just need to know I have value, that my efforts and contributions have value. I need to hear it from someone else.

Most of all again, my dear, I wish you to know how very greatly you are missed. There are very random and sporadic moments of availability that I find in myself, coupled with the fact that I dislike being on my own and unoccupied. I’ll have sudden urges to go see movies, meet for dinner or go for a drive. None of these desires are met with companionable responses. I am minded to embark on a fitness regimen this summer, and I don’t have anyone to do it with. All you’d have had to say is “please?” for me to pick you up, drive us both downtown and walk around the city park at midnight. (Maybe I’ll take myself there tomorrow.)

I’ve been blessed with another opportunity to travel on a low budget, and I’d love to share it with you.

As I mentioned, engagements continue to plague my circle of acquaintances, bringing out all that’s worst and petty in me. I’m beginning to feel quite the relic, and wishing I could have warned myself this phase of life would come!

Know that you are missed, loved and prayed for, my dearest.

Beren

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Nights Like These | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Desire

The Fire Within

“A cardiac vortex of endless desire
Unquenchably craving as oft lovers do
A gnawing, imploring, unquenchable fire
Would virgin heart scold that I burn for you?

Tormented ignition of premature thirsting
Greater than voices of warning construe
Falling and soaring, converging and bursting
Oh bride of my future, I burn for you!

Lofty the promises, churlish and fleeting
Spoken so rashly from imprudent youth
For flesh and flesh only, in wickedness cheating
They burn for themselves; I only for you

What woman of virtue, fair maiden abiding
With basest of passions in barest of view
Could meet not accepting, rejecting or chiding
This gravest confession, my burning for you?

For long are the hours of fleshly endurance
Ravenous, pleading, voracious, taboo
Through veins flows the fire of turbulent currents
My dear, condemn not that I’m burning for you!

And long is the battle, temptation’s entreatment
Craving, despising its wanton pursuit
Unslaked and unsated, demanding beseechment
Allayed with conviction, I burn just for you.

Yet, fettered and shackled, with mastery claiming
Twice-bound and thrice-locked and enshrouded from view
Sanity grasped through true Master’s naming
Barely abated, my burning for you

Compliance unyielding, remorseless, nor shamed
In innocent pining, chaste, virtuous, true
By future enthralled, by enchantment inflamed
In boldness and pureness I’m burning for you.

Dear, when nuptial longing meets nuptial blisses
When lock is laid bare and the key has turned
Remember my darling, commencing with kisses
That long for this day, through the ages, I’ve burned!”

(Yes Darling…I wrote it.)

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Poems, Purity | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Soon

06. Unknown Artist - Lovers' Swing

“No joy for which thy hungering heart has panted,
No hope it cherishes through waiting years,
But if thou dost deserve it, shall be granted —
For with each passionate wish the blessing nears.

Tune up the fine, strong instrument of thy being
To chord with thy dear hope, and do not tire.
When both in key and rhythm are agreeing,
Lo! thou shalt kiss the lips of thy desire.

The thing thou cravest so waits in the distance,
Wrapt in the silences, unseen and dumb:
Essential to thy soul and thy existence —
Live worthy of it – call, and it shall come.”

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

May 21, 2013 Posted by | Poems | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wide Awake

Dear Darling,

It’s known as the Is-Ought fallacy; confusing what ought to be with what is. And how fitting to recall it to mind. I’m wide awake at two in the morning. I’ve been laying on this air mattress pursuing sleep, and fighting a cloud of thoughts swarming thicker than these southern flies.

I ought to be having fun by the acre and bushel, visiting the destination some call the Happiest Place on Earth. Many would be (and are) jealous of my opportunity to be here, at the behest of my family, and I should be enjoying myself. I’m not. I never want to be so grown-up that I can’t be like a child again, but alas, Pooh Corner no longer thrills this Christopher Robin. It’s all fake, pretend and make-believe. It’s all a facade everyone knows isn’t real, and I’m just too old too accept it anymore. I wouldn’t dare tell my family this, but I crave something real and genuine and meaningful. I want hiking, running, lifting, flying, rafting…not complex video simulation but the real thing.

I should be getting along splendidly with my family. I should feel free to be myself around them, and they should recognize I am fully adult, competent, capable and trustworthy. Instead, there are domestic spats and squabbles, with a maddening parental prejudice towards the younger ones which makes me fear for their upbringing, so different it is from the discipline and correction I was given growing up.

I should be deeper in God’s word right now, and more reliant on Him. I should give up the church shift in order to pursue true spiritual nourishment.

I should be able to find peers my own age, people equally inclusive and reasonably “normal” that can come alongside me and support me just as I can do to them.

I shouldn’t miss so terribly a soul I have never met…my soul shouldn’t be so barren and incomplete, reliant on the very thing withheld from my reach.

I shouldn’t have aspired to be so much, only to become so asynchronous with the world around me because I chose right and they chose wrong. I shouldn’t feel so keenly the failures of others, burning like a fiery anvil of iron down deep in my core, simply because they simultaneously attracted and disappointed me.

I shouldn’t be writing this on my phone in the dark, sitting in the corner of a cheap condominium after two in the morning, and eagerly anticipating my return trip.

I should want children as soon as possible, but instead I want a few years to savor one joyfully cataclysmic change of our fates before we welcome another. But Darling, the years drag on. Life is long and love is bitter…and who can tell when the twain ends of our timelines will bind? In some ways, even in years most still consider tender, I feel I’ve already missed the spring. Would we be risking our heritage by waiting?

Left behind. That is the floor on which so many of my thoughts rest tonight. I was left behind by an older sibling, who shrank rather than grew to fulfill his aspirations. I am left behind by a culture no longer interested in the strong and unwithered things of old, hymns of worship, poems of beauty, virtue of adament. I am left behind by brothers and sisters of the faith, once comrades of arms, who find their place in the world by letting the world find its place in them, casting aside virtue, bartering innocence for the grown-up wings they think they need. I am left behind by those whom I, in turn, left behind, sparking unreasonable jealousy because they found their waiting arms and happiness ahead of me. I’m left behind by a cadre of fellow pupils whose memorizations are textbook even if their application is poor. I’m left behind by a world gone astray, making peace with their regrets, isolating one who bears few such regrets and thus feels…well, left behind.

I should simply be your man, darling, who takes it on the chin and keeps rolling, not miserably tapping out his dismay during wee hours and dark watches. And I promise you, I am and will be resilient. None guess this percolating undertow now, and only in placing these burdens before you, the very entrails and essence of my heart, even the parts of my soul less attractive, do I show my faith in you, my trust that you will try to understand, to take pity on a soul misunderstood by some and poorly understood by most.

I’m much too young and blessed to be this world-weary…but much too old and grounded to lack the basic and common fundamentals of life like peace, love or fellowship.

These things oughtn’t be. But they are.

I love you, my dearest bride. One day, one bright and shimmering day, when skies smile and sunshine falls fair, you will hear those words from my own lips. And I will here them from yours. And we’ll be home.

Until then, my love.

-Beren

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Awakened

24. von Riesen, Arno - Kiss Me

I woke up this morning wanting to kiss you.

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts for May, Pt. 2

“The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow if I can.”

My Darling,

2am seems hardly the time or place to be walking the deserted country roads, but if you’d had eyes to see, that is where you would have found me. For tonight, sky and cloud have traded places; the stars clearly visible and a heavy fog has descended. The trees are quietly dripping, lights are muffled and sounds dimmed. It’s a glorious stillness. No one is on these roads, of course, so I pray my way out the driveway and onto the road.

Funny how you have to wait until night to decide how your day was.

1) I’m back at the old homestead tonight; the family is traveling. In a way, I don’t know what to do with myself. Once again I reach the end of a finish line and, having known nothing but running for the last ten months, I want to keep running. I feel a little lost.

2) Tonight I made a batch of oatmeal cookies to accompany the grilled chicken in my own custom honey mustard sauce, with carrots, peaches and a salad, and I thought about how you and I could have had fun this weekend, and how one day we will find fun in these moments. I try to follow a principle not to be alone behind closed doors with any woman (the better not to rely on my strength to guard against weakness) but how fun it would have been to invite you over for us to bake cookies together, and dinner, and then to watch a movie. Or when we’re married…to sit on the porch in the cool of the evening and I can read to you. I bought a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets that would be perfect for the situation. To be truthful, some of them I find difficult to interpret; I think he outsmarted himself with his fluency of language. But reading them in a poet’s voice would be romantic, don’t you think?

Or you could have joined me for the walk. I would have been honored.

3) As I reach the end of the driveway, I’m asking God what He wants me to do. This is the question I must always remember to ask, because seeking God’s will must always be my — our — first ambition. I squat down and touch the road. How funny to think that if I only knew where you were, this same road is the place where my journey to you would begin. I would banish slumber and go tonight if I could…no doubt met, at this late hour, with silence, aggression and perhaps arrest. So, I content myself to stroll slowly up and down the road.

4) I’m reflecting on people again…on human nature. In particular, a young lady with whom I became friends, the one who said thank you, who I had great professional respect for and had worked with to accomplish a mission. Indeed, the two of us strove for a cause on one side, while the Vice-President of the nation personally strove for the opposite side. I had occasion to meet her during my trip, and she treated me poorly. I would like to believe I have a measure of grace and patience for everyone, and she quickly exhausted it. Yet when I became the one to end interactions by leaving, only then did she want me to stay. I can’t understand where that came from. She is either conflicted or playing a game, and I think I inadvertently played it back and won. There are some who advise this as a way of life…not to respond to texts too quickly, not to be too available. In short, playing “hard to get.” Darling…that’s just not me. It’s dishonest. I don’t play games. If I’m by the phone and you messaged me, I’d respond. In a sense, it’s all or nothing. When we both realize we are interested in each other, or that I’m interested in you, you will know. Whether by action or word, it shouldn’t be ambiguous. And I can’t see myself withholding attention out of some misguided principle that I am dangling myself just out of your reach, the better to make you want me. I certainly hope you would place yourself above that too?

5) I’ve also recognized, with age brings another realization; in becoming the grown-up, suddenly there are people who are too young for me. It may seem a small and obvious conclusion to you, but it’s a little new to me, looking at someone and seeing them as immature, realizing the years have indeed taught their lessons and pulled you into a different stage, one which is incompatible with some less advanced.

6) I enjoyed working a night shift, and it afforded me the possibility of getting some other work done as well. It certainly plays merry havoc with your circadian rhythms, but there you have it.

7) Healing heals me. I’ve spent a lot of time with patients the last year or two. Remember how I told you it’s been my goal to be useful, the man never caught unawares, who was prepared to respond in dire situations? Healing is part of that complex. It makes me feel utilized, fulfilled and useful. It’s part of who I was meant to be. And it’s interesting to recognize that at times, giving of myself in this way seems to recharge me rather than drain me.

And tonight, as the third watch draws to a close, I find myself both recharged and drained, and just wanting you.

Love,
Beren

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts | 2 Comments

Sundry Thoughts for May

03. Cornoyer, Paul - Early Spring In Central Park (1)

“Love, love changes everything
Hands and faces, earth and sky
Love, love changes everything
How you live and how you die
Love, love can make the summer fly
Or a night seem like a lifetime
Yes love, love changes everything.”

Dear Darling,

The mists are still clearing as the sun rises on an early morning. It’s been raining, and there’s a scent on the air that is damp but clean, cool, fresh and earthy. There are birds chirruping a greeting to the cloudy sunlight. As much as I love the times of stillness and peace, I never get up early enough to enjoy them. Today, I’m just back from a night shift. I let the dogs out for a run and settle down with a bite of breakfast (yogurt, granola and eggs if you must know) to mull over my thoughts and see if I can craft any of them into something legible. I’ve been writing thoughts for the past week or two, but I’ve had little time to write them, breathlessly hastening to finish exams, brimming with handfuls of postponed ideas, half-finished thoughts and incomplete musings.

I’m facing some uncertain times again, Love. The good times and bad kind of cascade in at once, and it’s a wash; I don’t know which side comes out on top.

I’m just back from another trip. I think I need to stop traveling alone. Some people seem to have the capacity to be entirely content and sufficient in themselves when they travel, or even at home. They seem satisfied in things, and experiences and possessions. I’m not. I need people, even if they are a pain sometimes.

It’s been an intense and arduous past few weeks. And months. And the last year. Truthfully the last few years have been pretty up-and-down! But the past is all prologue, and here I am, poised on the edge of wrapping up one of my first real years of purpose, asking myself if it was all worth it, if it could be.

A more chilling April I cannot recall, and am reminded that the difference is sometimes significant between the first day of spring, and the first spring day. I expect this to be quite a summer, and I anticipate a lot of work, a lot of working out, and as I mentioned, some travel. Of course, with April and May comes the season for weddings. There are people I know getting married. One young lady with whom I even shared an outing. I’m afraid your future husband has been a participant in more funerals than I have weddings, but it’s still a curious study in distance, acceptance and wistfulness. I am once again experiencing “nonbuyers’ remorse”…the feeling you get when someone you did not want to pursue finds bliss and love elsewhere. Of course in our age, profile social sites tell all, and the happy faces, sparkling rings and heads touched together once again hold back the veil on lives of joy, freedom and excitement which continually exclude me.

As I think about these changes, and how quickly I adapt to them, I think about love’s eternal change coming ever-steadily to meet me. I’ve been so lonely all my life. I’ve spent most of it alone and away from you, and it’s still a difficult thing to picture, the ultimate turning point. A stark and splendorous bifurcation of our personal timelines, silent years broken at last, shattered into a million glittering pieces and it all becomes real. It’s a game-changer. Nothing will ever, ever be the same afterward.

How does one wait patiently for that?

But I’m still preparing for your arrival, Darling, still waiting. I’d like to think you’d be proud of me and the changes I’ve been making. I’ve been running and working out more. I’ve been listening to the Word being preached as I shower and eat. I’ve been cooking a fair amount for myself, and I usually sing a few soft songs to myself as I clean up afterward. It’s a new season for me, and overall I think you’d be pleased, even though time for writing has been scarcer.

I was confiding a few of these burdens to a friend, as she made note of her marriage and how she intentionally prioritized it and recognized the need to work at it. “I can’t wait to meet the woman God has for you,” she told me.

Being a spouse or significant other is a position. You don’t meet too many people anymore who think of it that way…who think about qualifying for the position or enhancing their resume. “He’ll want me to be able to cook, I’d better learn how!” or “She’ll want me to be a good listener, I’d better practice.” People get so wrapped up in accepting people as who they are that they don’t try anymore. They don’t evaluate themselves, try to enhance their deficiencies, learn new things, acquire new skills. They don’t view friendship or a relationship as having duties to perform, expectations to meet, focusing on someone else’s needs. They don’t know how to be unselfish. They don’t think about working at it. So wrapped up in the concept of loving someone “just the way they are” they decline opportunities to better themselves.

I’m not going to lie, Darling…I hope when I find you that you’ll be someone to make them all jealous.

Does it please you to be needed this way? Do you find joy in knowing that your husband is out here, wanting to find you and make you his own, to take care of you? Do you even grasp the concept of how much I need you or how empty and hollow it feels not to know who you are, to laud you in ignorance, for never having heard your face, seen your eyes or touched your hair? Could it possibly be that you’re out there wandering around in this dark and feeble world blissfully unaware that a love with the strength of a thousand suns burns just beyond your hemisphere?

I can’t even truly compliment you because I don’t know you. I can offer educated vagaries because I know we will each appeal to the other, but I can’t tell you how I admire your face, your eyes or how perfect your teeth are (or aren’t!). I can’t touch your shoulder or play with your hair. I can’t capture one of your heartbeats for remembrance, or give you one of mine to safeguard. That’s hard.

One more thing, Darling, and then a daytime slumber awaits. You know the National Day of Prayer was just the other day. I want you to know I prayed specifically for you. Not just my daily prayer that God would be with you, walk with you and bless you, but for your family, your friends, your hurts, your regrets. I prayed for your trials and challenges, your dreams and your desires. I prayed for your future and ours.

Much more to come my love. God bless.

-Beren

May 7, 2013 Posted by | Sundry Thoughts | Leave a comment