Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Sundry Thoughts for October, Part II

Dear Darling,

1) What’s it like, do you think, to have someone who views it as part of their life’s purpose to support you, love you, help you and build you up? This thought occurred to me earlier today while I was driving back from the bank. (Is it at all strange to picture me, and the fact that if you’d been in the right place at the right time, you’d have been able to see me going about my everyday business?) The thought jolted into my head out of nowhere like so many of these thoughts do…what if someone came into my life right now with that mission, to serve me and love me, take care of me, to be a mother to my children, asking only that in return they be given the same?

2) What is your opinion on beards?

3) I went for a midnight stroll through the neighborhood tonight. I couldn’t resist. There are still too many street lights, and a silvery moon — almost full and peering through the clouds it illuminates — competed with them for custody of my shadow. I walked maybe half a mile.  Aside from some sirens and cars, the noise of civilization stayed at a dull roar, As I retrace my descent, I can smell smoke, and see a raccoon cautiously spying on me from the culvert to see if I’m a threat. I reassure him I’m not, but he still watches me long after I pass his makeshift cavern. I discover the source of smoke I’ve been smelling is just the local fire station with a grill. I don’t tell you these things so much as for my own personal chronicling, but because I would love to have an account of what you did today, or in retrospect years after, and in case you are out there, I am offering up my own.

4) Do you know what it’s like when you wrestle with words? Writing is one of the gifts the Lord seems to have given me, but I’ve come to learn that sometimes writers write because they have to, not because they want to. Sometimes it’s a torment to get words out. Sometimes you feel them inside, but you’re too tired or uninspired to struggle with them. Sometimes it’s a complex process of wrangling, choreographing and arguing with the words to make them say what you want them to say. Many times, you fail. Sometimes the words practically pulse with energy, compelling you to grasp for some form, any form for them to take. Sometimes the inspiration is past before you can finish crafting an outline, let alone the full work.

5) What is your take on Halloween? I was brought up with a view which will not surprise you, not to celebrate it. Age has mellowed the stiff rejection with which I viewed the day, but I still eye it warily and find discomfort in the things it lauds. Witches, ghosts, demons, monsters, everything horrible and loathsome are all celebrated with equal enthusiasm as the birth of Christ, or His resurrection. The Lord commanded His servants to have literally nothing to do with these things. I daresay the Savior would walk right past Halloween decorations to deal with the greater concerns in any given household, but I find it hard to imagine my Savior settling in with me to watch a movie indwelt with the gruesome and macabre. Harvest parties and even costumes are acceptable alternatives, but I truthfully don’t see myself embracing the full nature of a festival of death.

6) What sort of things do you imagine for your dream home? I have a peculiar and perhaps ambitious set of hopes tucked away for Someday. I already told you about some of them. I’d like a massive fireplace and vaulted ceilings, tall enough to accommodate a glorious Christmas tree, I would like to install a prayer room or chapel — a place where I and the rest of the house can go (retreat) to, to feel alone and meet with God. I love the idea of a library, maybe even one you need a ladder for. I’m sure I would stay far too busy to appreciate such a rich estate of writings, but it’s a nice thought. I mentioned the safe room of course, and I’d like to have a tunnel out back. I’m also holding out for a fair amount of acreage, including property to explore (or feel like we’re exploring), woods to get lost in on mythical evenings with full moons and mists, where we need fear no discovery and can be free to be ourselves.

7) You’ll recall I work at the megachurch, where worship is held in an auditorium with a stage, with bleachers which fold back and a floor doubling as a gymnasium. In an interlude, I ventured into the old side of the church, confined to the occasional wedding or funeral. I swear to you my dear, if walls could talk, these are older, kinder, gentler and wiser. The walls of the new building confuse size with power, and so presume to be the most important. They aren’t. It’s here that the hallways narrow, the carpet adopts a homey smell, and the walls seem to welcome you as though they seldom have guests that appreciate what they once were. It’s darker and quieter and, dare I say, more peaceful. The chapel is vacant, but of all the vast buildings, floors and hallways down which I could search, this is where I would choose to be. I half-expected to find Jesus himself sitting inside. Here I could be free to pray, to walk the aisles or sit on the stairs. The black locust tree grows tall and reproduces quickly, but it blows over with little effort. Its wood is cheap and weak, and for that matter, is covered with thorns. What have we lost in prioritizing quantity over quality?

8) Sometimes, a guy needs to know he’s needed. Sometimes, the lady has to do the asking.

9) At last, it’s gloriously nippy outside. Have you ever noticed how, on the first cold mornings, dogs will chase each other and play to keep warm? It seems colder weather makes many animals frisky, and I’m no exception. Tonight, I found myself seething with raw energy, feeling beastly and primal, like walking out into the woods with my shirt off and ripping up trees by their roots for sport. Guys get like that now and again, you know; it’s likely just a surge in testosterone, but it leaves one feeling pent-up, unsatisfied, trapped. But I can see what it might translate into one day, being channeled into a force for mutual benefit. Truthfully, I’m having trouble how there will be anything else when, during our married days, we rejoin each other’s company at day’s end. The faintest hints of an ecstatic dream whisper in my ear, that I’m sitting at my computer and suddenly realize I’m about ready to split some pine logs or run a warrior’s dash while panting steam. So I get up to find you and, catching you by surprise, kiss you with such fierce passion and tender romance that your defenses are overwhelmed and you can’t wait to surrender. I can see this kind of thing happening before dinner, after dinner, before bed, in the middle of the night. I can see us never getting anything done. And I see you wanting, desiring and craving the exact same thing, because you know few things make me happier than seeing you happy.

Are your feet cold? Bring ’em on over…and anything else that needs warming.

Love always,

October 18, 2013 - Posted by | Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts

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