Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

As The Year Wanes

Alone in the mist

Dear Darling,

It’s been another maddeningly busy week, full of overnights and cancer and blood and death. Those that know me see tiredness in my eyes. I slept late and studied today, and after working a few hours tonight, I’m back in my room and can find some respite.

I’ve barely spent much time here except to sleep and change. Scented candles and the screen provide the only light again, and even though my school write-up is due tomorrow night, I won’t worry about it now. Instead, I’ll spend some time looking back over the week and see the ground I’ve covered. Last weekend was full of travel and training. Then class and work, plus swimming and Bible study, then more class and more work. I’m happy to earn, but it strains you; you become this machine that just won’t stop, no matter how tired you are.

There are different kinds of tired, you know. Sad, happy, peaceful, lonely, content, satisfied, punchy…this week, I’ve been all of these. And lonely. But it is possible to be happy while lonely. Of course it is! Otherwise, neither of us would ever be happy. And it is possible to be lonely when you’re with other people — even the people you love.

I was with them last evening, very weary and very happy to enjoy a hearty meal and a family movie tradition. It wasn’t so very lonely. It is interesting to me to see how my family needs me. It’s only lately — within the last five years I think — that they’ve come to lean on me in some ways, to need me.

I nearly gasped when I got out of the car after nightfall to see the stars and clear night sky, and of course when I left home I went straight to the Bridge. I needed to reconnect with God, because a hazard of ceaseless running is a sacrifice of the time spent with Him, and that is never justified. But you and I know, His mercies never end.

There was more water in the creek, and noisy music to accompany. I walked along the road (keeping an eye out for coyotes on what I have now dubbed Coyote Ridge — because naming places is cool) and underneath the darkened shapes of the trees overhead. Looking up, the stars aligned with the skeletal tree limbs as if suspended on them. On the horizon, the silhouettes of trees stood against the shades of orange that faded into deepest blue-black. I can hear something large moving through the trees down the hill, and then the unmistakable sounds of a large animal fording the creek. (The brush was too thick to see what.)

I try to describe it, as if my words could paint a better portrait than the Master’s hand; every scene was a painting unto itself. Sometimes beauty aches.

Daylight savings time ends tonight. Or, begins if you like. Brighter mornings and darker evenings await as we slide into the dark half of the year. Bah, for me, it’s just another hour to burn writing, studying or working. I suppose I’ve thrown myself into all of these more in the last couple of months. But oh how different things will look when you and I are together.

My darling, you know you already bring me joy just by knowing you exist, don’t you? You already make me happy, and you inspire these letters. I hope you know and take heart in that. Not many are equal to that task. I had a coworker exhibiting symptoms of pregnancy tell me “you wanna be my baby’s daddy?” (She was “joking” only because I so clearly rejected the concept.) I had another listless soul attempt to contact and friend me again, my benign stalker who has tried so many shameless times before. It moves the heart to an awkward pity for people who aspire, but make no effort on behalf of their aspirations. Red texted me again tonight, after a slightly rude put-off message. Then Alagfast (my roommate, whose Elvish name means “Impetuous Hair”), who just got back from a wedding, asked me a question which moved me to a memory about the Lady Kirche. It makes me sad that these people could have been so much more if they’d only tried.

I don’t envy your task, Darling. I’ll not deny it’s a tough one, and I think only you could be equal to it. You have to give just enough love to win me over, even when you don’t know if I’m worth the investment. (Hopefully it won’t take me long to prove it.) You have to have strength but vulnerability. Kindness but ferocity. Captivating and accessible, but yet make me have to fight for you a little.

But everyone feels short in a pair of tall shoes, and I don’t think it’s as hard as you think. You just have to try. You just have to be kind, and wise, and gentle and winsome. You have to be patient in my attempts to lead, and subtle in your efforts to restructure that leadership. And always it must be with Christ at the center.

As the year wanes, and as the two-year anniversary of this site and these letters approaches, I begin to reflect. This year I’ve become more the person I’ve wanted to become. I glance back through the pictures of me from this year and see a man, engaged in the pursuits he wanted to chase. I see me canoeing down rivers, delivering speeches, running races, training with giants, visiting beaches, going to conferences, dressing for movie premieres, photographing moonbows. I look back and see near-misses and failures, the things whose inevitable downfall I would gladly re-live. I see God’s provision for me. And I hope that God has given you as rich of a year as I, and that here in the dwindling weeks of 2013, our aching arms will find each other.

Listen to this song tonight, Darling, and join with me in waiting for the dream that does not die upon waking.

Yours lovingly,

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These | , , , | Leave a comment

When I’m Alone

Siegfried Sassoon

“When I’m alone”—the words tripped off his tongue
As though to be alone were nothing strange.
“When I was young,” he said; “when I was young…”

I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
I thought how strange we grow when we’re alone,
And how unlike the selves that meet and talk,
And blow the candles out, and say good night.

Alone… The word is life endured and known.
It is the stillness where our spirits walk
And all but inmost faith is overthrown.”

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Poems | , , , | Leave a comment