Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

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

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