Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

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

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May 28, 2013 - Posted by | Nights Like These | , , , , ,

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