Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

When the Winds Change

Dear Darling,

Writing can sometimes be a burdensome task. Especially when I’m on a deadline. I finished and sent off the article, though a grade or two suffered for it, and in the arranging I’m now told it will likely be a cover story.

Sometimes, writing can be burdensome because the wheels of your mind turn quicker than the paper which receives them, or the hands which channel them.

Neither is the case tonight. Tonight, I know only that I want to talk with you. Haven’t you ever rung up a friend, just because you felt like talking with them? And here I have no one properly within reach to listen.

Weather is a failsafe topic on which to begin, isn’t it? Has it been rain and sunshine and snowfall and red moons where you are? The daffodils, tulips and creeping phlox were all shivering under a snowy blanket this morning. But the days before, spring made her preliminary entrance again, and we all greeted her like a friend long-expected whose presence had been long missed. And I realized, it’s not just the summer winds from the south, or the westerly autumn winds that drive me to fits of restlessness; it’s the changing of the winds themselves. It’s the seasonal turning of pages and fitful ending of chapters. It’s the reminder that time is passing, ever passing, each moment curling off into oblivion permanently stamped with your absence.

A few nights ago, I had time on my hands and a turbulent disquiet in my heart. It wanted moonlight, night air and solitude, so I mapped my route for the park on the northside. There were no gates or closing times posted so I didn’t seem to be trespassing,
but nor was there a soul around. I paced the sporting fields and scanned the horizons. My city is a lovely blend of urban and rural, so these pastures weren’t cramped. But the glare of lights reflecting against the clouds, to say nothing of revelers heard off in the distance, fell far short of the previous night’s walk along the bridge.

The night after, I walked the blocks of neighborhood around the bungalow Alegfast and I now share. He came along for a time before retiring. I continued on. But the walks in the city don’t compare. I’m rather afraid, my dear, that if I’m to find any peace in this life, it will have to be by finding a house outside the city limits, and probably far outside them.

How have you spent these last few nights? Do you find the quality of life increases with your years…and yet, also loneliness? Do you have regrets about how you’ve spent your time thus far? Are you striving to trust God with your wrong turns and unmet hopes? It’s miles that count my dear, not the years.

Tell me this. Have you ever felt like someone owed you? It’s a feeling that turns easily to bitterness, and any time the feeling of obligation or entitlement creeps in, any time my mind suggests I deserve something, I try to hold those thoughts in check. I don’t deserve anything. But on occasion, I do find myself thinking I “deserve” better. I’ve put effort into birthdays and gifts and occasions for people. It doesn’t always turn out right, but I give gifts I can’t afford, or plan parties as complete surprises. I don’t know what I’m trying to say, except that I’ve come across people for whom I’ve tried really hard and met only lackluster response. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, putting emotion and feeling into your gratitude, if ever I earn it, will go a long way. Gratitude, appreciation, the knowledge that what I did made a difference…that’s pretty much the only consideration I ask.

Yes, sometimes it is a lonely existence out here, Darling. Yes, I know you couldn’t tell because I’ve only brought it up the last two hundred letters in a row, but sometimes there are times of emptiness and loneliness when it seems there’s not a thought worth thinking. Those moments sneak up on you. When that happens, you have to have something to run to, or from, or with. A couple of weeks ago, I took myself out to a movie. Last weekend, I suggested an impromptu park dinner, which turned into semi-fast food on a pavement veranda. (It amused me that I was the only guy amongst five single women, none of whom were of particular interest to me.)

And they are friends, in their own way. But somehow, through no fault of their own, they can’t meet me where I am. No matter who I’m with, I’m always a little bit alone. They don’t understand what it’s like to live and work among the sick, to be a healer. They don’t understand the bearing of swords. They’re sheep. Sheepdogs get me, because I get them. And I wonder if a sheepdog can be happy to end up with a sheep. Nor do those who bear the swords understand that I love weapons only for their use. When I work among the healers, they don’t understand the political work I’ve done, or why I choose to work with them instead. The unbelievers don’t understand my standards, and even the believers think I take the Lord too seriously sometimes.

It’s too much to imagine you’ll ever understand me on all these dimensions, my dear. I’ve no doubt I will fall far short in apprehending the multifaceted, nuanced and many-splendid dimensions on which you exist. But how wonderful it would be if we both tried?

Were this a phone call, these scattered thoughts would, I’m sure, made for on occasionally halting conversation.

Wherever you rest under starlight and moonlight, I wish you warmth, peace and purpose this night.


April 16, 2014 - Posted by | Sundry Thoughts, Uncategorized

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