Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Worth It?

Saddened Knight

“He believed in the things that he always thought he knew
And had done all the things that he always wanted to do
Collecting each thing, reflecting his worth
But now he pondered, how he had wandered this earth

For we all seem to give our lives away
Searching for things that we think we must own
Until on this evening when the year is leaving
We all try to find our way home.”

Dear Darling,

The storm’s blown over. I woke up this morning before alarm or sun, finding myself feeling hurt and distant, continuing this feeling of being on the outside looking in. Four and a half hours’ sleep will have to do. I roll over and begin telling these things to God, but even He feels distant.

I don’t have to be at the church for two hours, but I dress anyway and prepare breakfast while asking of the Lord what He would have me do. Am I truly in His will? To be sure, He has blessed me with unique and rare gifts and experiences this year, and taken care of all my needs. I am not rich, but if enough is as good as a feast, then I have feasted. But does that mean I am doing what He wants me to do?

The question that has been haunting me of late is, has any of this been worth it? Trying to be worthy…worthy of God’s favor by following His laws. Worthy of men’s favor by being a servant, a hard worker, someone who helps. Worthy of you.

I have not seen my family in a week; it’s the first time such hostility has gone down, the first time I actually thought I would be disallowed from spending Christmas with family. I serve them as best I can, and am treated worse than my elder brother. Mounds of ill overshadow mountains of good.

Is it possible to please God? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Therefore, there are very specific things that I have tried to avoid in deference to remaining unstained from the world. I don’t drink. I don’t indulge the angry or frustrated impulses to swear, although God knows the words have entered my ears often enough to be found in my heart in times of anger. I don’t go to see movies which I feel dishonor Christ with such behavior, and I view dimly the celebrities who do so.

These are rifts between myself and my culture, and with this culture, they grow ever wider. Very often they occur between myself and my friends, or coworkers, or even would-be mates. I struggle not to think less of them for these behaviors…drinking to become drunk or even “tipsy” or leaving unbridled their tongue of fire. A good friend of mine explained that she would not have had the courage to dance unless she’d “had a few.” Friends gather to watch movies or shows that are crude and crass. “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving,” wrote Paul, and so I try to avoid indulging in such entertainment. The other night I made excuses to leave a gathering because their plan was to watch an R-rated movie…a gathering which revolved around “church.” I still wince inwardly at every single profane word (particularly that of my Savior’s name) even though I hear these words constantly. The minute someone casually swears, they have told me a lot about themselves and it saddens me. When someone shuffles around in tight-wrapped jeans, indecently short skirts, obscenely tight yoga pants or revealingly low-cut tops, they too broadcast a message which saddens me.

Whatever happened to Philippians 4:8 and thinking only on what is righteous? Whatever happened to walking as children of light? Whatever happened to putting away “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” or not even naming sexual immorality and impurity? Is life so miserable that we must chemically augment its reality with fermented grain and grape? Is God asleep that we should defy Him by conversation riddled with the ugly and bitter words of profanity? Is the darkness not sufficient for our ignoble deeds that we now parade them into the light and make them acceptable? “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

But why? What is the good of trying? Why worry about trying to please God? Where did we get the idea that our good behavior will be rewarded? The Bible talks of obedience “so that it may go well with you” but even the Psalmist worried and wondered about the righteous man suffering while the wicked prosper.

The challenge goes like this. I hold a standard, of finding a wife who is wholesome and dignified and pure. People ask me what I’m looking for, and then question that decision because it tweaks their own guilt. “We’ve all made mistakes,” they say. “If you’ve looked with lust, it’s the same as having sex,” others insist. (Looking with lust is a sin, but surely not equivalent to the deed itself?) “You have no room to judge if you’ve ever looked at pornography.” Can it really be true that the occasional loss of every man’s battle is tantamount to fornication itself? Do the moments of weakness which I would easily forgive or overlook in a mate nullify the hope or expectation for a partner who is not plundered of physical purity by choice and surrender? Are some sins not greater than others, or do we damn a child’s lie with equal enthusiasm as a murdering rapist? And if the sins and their penalties are commensurate, why wouldn’t someone struggling to please the Lord choose the sin with greater pleasure?

The Workers Wages and the Prodigal Son, of which I’ve written before, both point to the futility of sacrifice, of following God and disciplining one’s self to remain unstained by the world. Where is the incentive to act in a way which pleases the Lord if there is not greater merit to be found in obedience? I esteem more highly those who take God’s will seriously, and who have disciplined themselves sufficiently to follow His word. Likewise, I aspire to the same standard to please God and show Him to the world. But in doing so, I’m accused of thinking myself better than others, or of looking down on others. Not to say I am better than anyone else, but if there is not greater value to be found in such pursuits, why ever would we try to uphold a higher standard, or to find fellowship with others of like mind? Why not drink? Why not carouse? Why not flirt with disaster and dance on the fire’s edge?

Thus is the riddle. Obeying a standard earns no favor. Asserting such a standard means you are judging. Seeking it of others is too discriminating. A disappointed or diminished opinions from such behaviors make you critical and harsh.

Very well then, why have I tried so hard, consciously trying to prepare myself for a wife of virtue, faithfulness, kindness and compassion when none seem to be found who desires the same, and when others encourage me to lower these expectations out of practical reality in the world? Why place a higher premium on good behavior if everyone in the kingdom is redeemed, and preference beyond that is subjective and ungracious? Perhaps she has slept with a man or two before she got holy. That is no reason to reject her. I might just as well bring home a repentant murderer or a penitent stripper — after all, if they are forgiven, who am I to judge?

You cannot earn God’s favor but through Christ. But can His favor be earned beyond that? Are all really on the same platform, the repentant serial killer and the charitable benefactor? Does God really care whether we drove ten nails or ten thousand into the cross? If there is no favor except by the blood of Christ, why try to be “good” if you cannot maintain any higher degree of pride, favor or approval from God for “behaving”?

And what of your favor? As my third decade dwindles and I cannot find anyone to match your description, I find myself asking what was the good of trying to anticipate how to please you, when all I can find are those who insist I should lighten up and relax.

But fear not, Darling, if fear you ever did. Conscience and principle still forbid great departures from the path of wisdom. But increasingly, I fail to see the solution to this riddle between virtue and virtue’s reward. Increasingly, despite the words of Paul in Romans 5, blanket pardons and those who wave them increasingly appear as a license not to worry overmuch about one’s sins. Let those who read and follow hereafter gainsay if they can.

Love ever,
Beren

“For we all seem to give our lives away
Searching for things that we think we must own
But on this evening when the year is leaving
I think I would be alright if on this Christmas night
I could just find my way home.”

Trans Siberian Orchestra

December 23, 2013 Posted by | Holidays, Loneliness, Purity, Questions, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Babysitting the Beast

Dear Darling,

Do not awaken love before its time, cautioned Song of Solomon. Of course, no one really knows when the time of love is, but its definition seems self-reflexive — the time of love will be when love’s time arrives.

Well, it’s too late now. Love hasn’t arrived and the beast has. Sure, the goal was to prolong desire’s hibernation…to soothe and pacify and silence it and avoid the torture. I did a good job for the first two decades of my life. I didn’t try to awaken it.

But now it’s awake, and its hunger-pangs groan deeper than any thunder-clap. Now I’m stuck here babysitting a monster. It’s not just any dragon that a knight such as I might challenge; it’s part of me. It is the dragon within. It’s part of who I was created to be, and no matter how hard I try, denying it is denying myself. Maybe that’s what Christ meant about taking up the cross and denying one’s self. But no matter how much the church overlooks or insulates us from sex, the truth is that we were born with a sexual identity, a desire which defines us. Put simply, a part of our nature was created to have sex — to need it, desire it, crave it, pursue it. To exist as you and I do (or in the darker side of my dreams, as only I do) is to live out a paradox every day. Silencing the demand, rebuking the fire against every yearning and instinct.

Only those who hold fast to the end will be saved. And, we are what we feed. I haven’t been unfaithful to you, and partly only because I never trust myself on the matter. But this mind, this foolish, sinful clump of gray matter between my ears takes itself to places it knows it shouldn’t go, and drags me along because it knows we both like it.

I’m clinging to physical purity with a death grip, Darling, but the world in which I live feeds aught but desire. I need your prayers, and your appreciation. Darling…tell me it matters. Please, please tell me it matters. Tell me it’s important to you. Tell me you value this battle and are grateful that I’m fighting it. Tell me it makes you love me more. Flatter me with how relieved and glad it makes you. Tell me resistance has made a difference. Tell me you’re looking forward to the other side, where we can be free. Please. Without that, it’s going to be that much harder to remember what I’m fighting for, or why.

Love,
Beren

November 9, 2013 Posted by | Purity | , , , | 3 Comments

Desire

The Fire Within

“A cardiac vortex of endless desire
Unquenchably craving as oft lovers do
A gnawing, imploring, unquenchable fire
Would virgin heart scold that I burn for you?

Tormented ignition of premature thirsting
Greater than voices of warning construe
Falling and soaring, converging and bursting
Oh bride of my future, I burn for you!

Lofty the promises, churlish and fleeting
Spoken so rashly from imprudent youth
For flesh and flesh only, in wickedness cheating
They burn for themselves; I only for you

What woman of virtue, fair maiden abiding
With basest of passions in barest of view
Could meet not accepting, rejecting or chiding
This gravest confession, my burning for you?

For long are the hours of fleshly endurance
Ravenous, pleading, voracious, taboo
Through veins flows the fire of turbulent currents
My dear, condemn not that I’m burning for you!

And long is the battle, temptation’s entreatment
Craving, despising its wanton pursuit
Unslaked and unsated, demanding beseechment
Allayed with conviction, I burn just for you.

Yet, fettered and shackled, with mastery claiming
Twice-bound and thrice-locked and enshrouded from view
Sanity grasped through true Master’s naming
Barely abated, my burning for you

Compliance unyielding, remorseless, nor shamed
In innocent pining, chaste, virtuous, true
By future enthralled, by enchantment inflamed
In boldness and pureness I’m burning for you.

Dear, when nuptial longing meets nuptial blisses
When lock is laid bare and the key has turned
Remember my darling, commencing with kisses
That long for this day, through the ages, I’ve burned!”

(Yes Darling…I wrote it.)

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Poems, Purity | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Valentine’s Day Special: Imagine the Fire

Flaming Passion

“And on nights like this, when my blood runs riot
With the fever of youth and its mad desires,
When my brain in vain bids my heart be quiet,
When my breast seems the centre of lava-fires,
Oh, then is the time when most I miss you,
And I swear by the stars and my soul and say
That I will have you and hold you and kiss you,
Though the whole world stands in the way.”

Dear Darling,

Happy Valentine’s Day.

No really. I know it may not be happy now, when you’re a party of one on a day meant for two. (I hope you’re not spending it with someone else!) I’m sure it gets harder for both of us with each passing year. But I wish for it to be happy nevertheless.

This year, rather than wallow in the musings of self-pity, I thought I would give you a gift. The gift of imagination. I want to use the power of these letters to offer you a glimpse of my vision for the future, for how awesome it’s going to be one day. I’ve been working on this letter for three months, so I hope you like it.

First, tell me something: How much imagination do you think is okay? Before we meet or marry, is it okay to fantasize about our married life? Is it okay to reminisce about the future today, and relish the treasures yet to come? How often do we dare let ourselves broach the topic, how much banter is permissible….how much fire can your mind play with before a line is crossed?

I have a good imagination. I’ve had thoughts (and dreams) that might make you blush. I know that one day we’ll seal ourselves in covenant, forever freeing us to dance in the flames, and until then, it’s hard. Thinking about it (sometimes) makes it easier. I think any race is easier when you know there’s a finish line.

It’s okay to look forward to that…even to get excited about it.

I think it’s the freedom I’m looking forward to the most. The ultimate license, the absolute liberty to release every inhibition, caution, reservation and warning we’ve ever had…inhibitions about time and touch and love and romance and intimacy and propriety and sex.

Oh darling! Can either of us even begin to conceive of the freedom of kissing, touching, hugging, caressing, making love whenever we want? It will be like nothing else. No strings attached! Guiltless, fearless! It will be an experience to cherish. There’ll be no shame. We’ll be proud of each other. You’ll be able to take pride in being worth waiting for, and pride in your man for waiting! You won’t be competing with any other experiences or memories, and neither will I. We can enjoy each other just for being ourselves. One partner, no worries. It will be a celebration. Our whole wedding day will be, and as flustered and surreal as that will be, underneath will be the fires of passion and anticipation, a quivering, eager expectancy.

If you look at me, you might see steam. If I looked at you, I’d probably see stars.

Oh, and Darling, I want it to be the best! I want hundreds of tea lights, chocolates and rose petals. I want soft music, dim lights and silk sheets. And yes, I intend to have spent more than a few weeks at the gym. (Nothing but the best for my bride.)

I think I know how it will start. Of course we’ll both be nervous. Maybe even shaking. Each step beyond the borders of the formerly taboo will be furtive, but I daresay hunger will compel us. I’m sure there will be plenty of kissing. You might run your hands through my hair. But at some point, if you’re willing, you’ll have to let me take over, take you by the hand as we cross that threshold, to take our place in the book of love. It will be time to awaken your senses and excite them. I’ll kiss not just your mouth, but your eyelids, your forehead, your ears and the soft skin at the base of your throat. Our eyelashes will tickle each other to meet. We’ll feel chills and pulses as our foreheads meet, and you’ll thrill and shudder as I kiss your bare shoulders. I’ll take a rose and trace the lightest touch over every inch of your body, with lips to follow. Such rapturous vulnerability…it will terrify and thrill.

They say most don’t get it right the first time. I plan on trying. Lack of experience doesn’t mean lack of knowledge; I know to go slow. But ultimately, I suspect we’ll want each other so badly that neither of us will be disappointed. Still, I want to put you first. I want you to have a secret that you can’t tell anyone, or maybe you’ll tell a close friend or two — that you suspect no one ever loved a woman like your man. I want your eyes to roll back, your neck to arch, your toes to curl and the hairs on your neck to stand on end. I want to make you forget about time and life and fear and yourself and even us. I want to transcend the physical and unleash a blissful torrent of ecstasy straight to your brain, a seismic reverberation taking you places you’ve never been before, a flaming rush of senses that feel so good you wonder if it’s even right. I want you to lose yourself in the moment, your brain to go blank, not even knowing you’re making the noises you are. I want you to come back to yourself drained, grateful and amazed. All of this and more I wish to do for my darling, my beloved Luthien, simply because she deserves it.

Nothing in our public life, our dreary waking existence could ever prepare us for such euphoria.

Hours later, we can spend the rest of the night, talking for hours, giggling gently, touching each other’s noses and asking all the questions we’ve wondered, about what it’s like to be a man or a woman, learning about each other and exploring, fervently laying bare whatever secrets are yet unlearned. The burden of being forbidden will lift, and we can bare not just our bodies but our souls before each other. Finally, exhausted and tranquil, we can drift off to dream in each other’s arms.

Imagine the morning after. Things will be peaceful and still, just as they are after any fire. Imagine your consciousness rising to the surface, when you first become aware but before your eyes even open, when the thought explodes inside your brain: “I’m married! I’m his wife! I belong to him, and he belongs to me!” Those are the moments that make every pain in life worthwhile…waking and finding only love and hunger, renewed and washing over us, heedless of care and worry. Moments when you want to jump up and run around, uncontrollable joy bubbling up as we dance and laugh and embrace, because our waking world is finally better than our dreams. Maybe I’ll wake up before you. If I do, I’ll wake you up with a kiss. You pick where.

Breakfast and some encore performances will be in order, don’t you think?

And that’s just the first night! You might recall, I’d like to honeymoon on a private island. Imagine yourself there now. The doors are open and a warm tropical breeze wafts through the house to rustle the curtains and caress our bodies. It’s day three of our island vacation. Maybe later we can take the boat out for a spin around the island, or take a dip in the ocean. We’ve come back and showered off (nudge nudge, wink wink) and in the process of satisfying one appetite, we’ve worked up an appetite for dinner. So we head to the kitchen for dinner — grilled seafood. (If you like seafood?) If you like, I’ll feed you the whole meal.

Then the sun goes down, and we keep the lights off. Maybe there’s a veranda, and I can light some torches, to give us the primal luminescence of firelight. We can cuddle in a reclining chair built for two and tenderly read each other poetry, or our letters. We can dreamily share more stories of our lives as our fingers trace little patterns on each other. We can take a walk on the beach, sit on a knoll and watch the moonlight. (Remind me we need to go when there’s a full moon.)

Darling, we’ll be making up for for 25-30 years of virginity, and while I see no reason not to try that first night, we’ll have the rest of our lives to satisfy and reward each other. Take the first year for example. Aha, that first year…! I think people are going to be whispering behind our backs about that one. We’ll be late to work, and sleep-deprived. We’ll develop code words to whisper at parties, which will find us both leaving early. Did I say words? Who needs words? One of us will just give a glance and suddenly the air around us is sizzling and we’ll have to make our goodnights. I probably wanted you the moment you walked out in that dress.

Things are going to be hazy and dreamy and wonderful. The ultimate intimacy, the communion of souls. Oneness.

There will be things we’ll both be excited to try. We can be discreet, but daring. We can make overnight trips for the weekend, or go camping and spend late-night romps in a tent or around a campfire. We can wake each other up in the most delightful ways. We can be risque, and inappropriate. So many people seek to be “good in bed.” I don’t want to be good in bed…I want us to be good in bed. By listening, and putting you first, I hope to be all you could ever hope for in a man.

The problem is, I want you right now. I want to make out with you. Like, seriously. I just want to forget everything and let go, both of us caught up in a kiss that ignites fireworks in our brains, that sets our hearts racing, our heads spinning, our blood pumping, our neurons firing wildly. There’s going to be that animal magnetism  primeval and raw. The shackles aren’t loosed yet! For a while, we’ll fear to be alone because we can’t trust ourselves. We’ll have to guard each others hearts if we ever want to arrive at that night without being ashamed.

There will come a day we’ll have to meet to talk about this…after we’ve promised to marry, we’ll meet — in public — to discuss your expectations and mine. What we each should wear, how we’ve always imagined it, what our expectations will be. Would you like to remove your wedding dress and tuck it away? Or would you like me take care of that for you? Will you wear something daring — either black or red — for me?

Luthien, my love, you’re the only thing that keeps me waiting. Come to me soon. We have some dreams to get started on.

Until then, happy Valentine’s Day my fiery darling. I mean that with all of my heart.

With love and fire,
Beren

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Anticipation, Holidays, Our Wedding, Promises, Purity | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Grief Unbidden

There are some nights, moonless and shrouded, when the darkness reaches in for an embrace. There are some nights when the devil’s snares are laid bare and you tremble, even atop heaven’s gate, for those caught by them. There are some nights where one feeling feeds into another like a caustic mixture, boiling over into words that race breathlessly through the mind, compelling you to rush through a shower just to get to your keyboard and give them their head.

She was nothing more than a business colleague. Not even a business, just a nonprofit. Someone two thousand miles away who began working with me over the phone as a liaison to a large entity in her state. The topics slowly expanded to cover more than just our mutual business. She was hardly unattractive, yet she was professional, mature, competent and ambitious. She even texted at random intervals merely to ask how I was doing or follow up on situations of a harmless, personal nature every now and again.

If a woman’s body irresistibly draws man, a woman who randomly and sincerely inquires after my well-being or remembers to follow up with me about something which should be of no consequence to her irresistibly draws me. Or at least, draws my attention.

And whether out of desperation or simply recognizing the same listener’s ear so many others have complimented me on, she opened up at times about uncertainties in her life. Pains, disputes, challenges, even complications with her boyfriend.

He seemed unhelpful to her in her hour(s) of need, but I was engaged in conversations with someone else and had no real motivation, opportunity, means or desire to truly pursue this girl. So I listened. I offered thoughts. I defended the boyfriend on some occasions, but was also very pointed in noting his flaws, whether they were chronic, and what they would mean for their relationship long-term.

She shared his shortcomings and her frustration about them again. I inquired why she remained involved. I asked the question I shouldn’t have asked, the question I always, always regret asking and yet the lay-counselor side of me needs to know, the lonely virgin longs to know, and the small percentage of prurient curiosity itches to know. Was she sleeping with him? To learn what a man truly is, encounter him when he has nothing to gain, I advised.

Though her story was sad, the ultimate answer was yes.

My heart sank.

In the movies when beloved characters die, the main character(s) always scream “NOOO!” as if their verbal denial could undo the indelible passing of time. It’s called denial, one of the well-known stages of grief. The others are anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I still don’t know why I take these things personally. A close friend of mine I tried to counsel, strengthen, encourage, also confided she had surrendered her virginity. I withdrew from the online world for several days. Somehow, it always strikes a resonating chord of deep, deep sadness in me whenever someone admits this. It’s even harder when I think it’s someone I would like to know better.

The lay counselor is saddened. He knows this makes things far more complicated, introducing baggage, bonding, and the possibility for pregnancy and disease. He also mourns the loss of innocence, another priceless gift surrendered with regret.

The lonely virgin just needs to know there are others out there, Vow-keepers, beacons of strength, even if unseen. He needs to know he’s not alone. He needs to know he’s not the last bastion of morality and discipline…that his wait isn’t in vain, that someone of surpassing worth will one day look at him with proud, shining eyes and tearfully thank him for the long and weary years of battle against the indwelling desire to surrender. And more than that, he needs to know there are others, with heads held high, standing tall, sharing the struggle and remaining undefeated. He needs to know, like Frodo, that “as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.”

And the pruriently curious one, well, he just feels jealous and left out, wondering when it’s going to be his turn, angrily contending with the fierce and volatile appetite to which he is chained.

So all three, residing in this same man, experience the grieving process. He is in denial, literally shaking, filled with grief over something which is simplest and commonest and yet most profound and bitter. There are no U-turns on that path. One “first” is all any of us are given, throughout all eternity. It can’t be undone. The seal is broken. The fruit is bitten.

He is angry. How could she be so weak? Why must she continue to be appealing otherwise, who has now so quickly and predictably removed herself from the book of possibilities?

There is no bargaining. There may be some depression and acceptance, but the stages of grief aren’t linear. You can’t peg down human emotions into a solid timeline. You can traverse them all in an hour, a day and a year. They are cyclical; they chase each other.

Why? Why mourn a stranger’s choices? Just because they preclude your own? Because they make the flesh envious? Because someone is out there, otherwise a decent and kind person, “getting some” and you aren’t?

I can’t answer those questions. But I do grieve. I grieve for each person who has chosen to leave the path of wisdom, even those claiming they didn’t know better. And there have been so many! Each of them left me a little bit lonelier. Each of them leaves me a little more sad about the world. Each of them makes the quiet side of my heart ruefully wonder if I will either have to join these vow-breakers, or be the only one to arrive to the honeymoon bed with my gift intact.

Choose your actions well, friends. All of you. No soul ever truly knows the impact they will have on the choices, thoughts or peace of another.

January 27, 2013 Posted by | Loneliness, Purity | 2 Comments

Gone, Again, Already

And just like that, she’s gone.

I barely knew her. Never even heard her voice. We exchanged some messages and pictures. There was that grin again, briefly; that irrepressible, bubbled-up excitement of what-if.

But she left.

Sooner or later, I guess everyone does. Maybe it’s better that way. Assuredly it is God’s will, for it’s hard to believe anyone so fixed on trying to live out His will can fall so far afoul of it. I just don’t know how long God wants to keep giving me breaths of fresh air piecemeal before closing the windows I find myself in front of.

“We don’t value the same things,” she said. “I’m a pacifist.”

There’s more to it than that. There has to be. My guess, she’s another “reformed” traitor.

Perhaps I’m being unkind. Of course I am. But she knew my values, and the dissolution came only after I asked a broad question about them. Many will no doubt think the question entirely premature  even rude to broach so quickly. Why? Why not peg down the girders and guideposts of a structure before ordering paint and plaster?  A common foundation is essential. Why assert it is too important to bring up immediately?

I can hardly accept that we did not value the same interests and pursuits. Indeed, they were so similar it was eerie. In the absence of clarification, I can only surmise she gave herself already to someone else and seeks to extricate herself tactfully because she is unwilling to subject herself to strict scrutiny.

Once again, my standards (not another foolish, gullible, weak-willed woman’s indiscretions) are the problem, and it’s making me angry. I grow mad with the delay wrought by being “too good” for my generation. They will not become like me, and I refuse to become like them. We are consistently sundered by disparate values.

You know well enough by now Dear, there are times when I would like to break my troth merely out of revenge. How shallow! but it is my feeling: “You tossed your head and threw away your gift, and then reject me because I still have mine and look for its match in another. Should I not then throw mine away as freely as you, the better to teach you my pain and loss? Should I become like you, that you may become like me? Would it even matter? Would you even feel as I do? Or would you be relieved I joined your ranks, and glad I no longer tower over you, still rooted in principle and making you feel the condemnation of silence? You will not aspire to my level. Shall I vengefully condescend to yours? In anger, should I break the unbroken, and let you mourn its downfall as I mourned yours? Will it will be a loss to you as it was to me?

I suppose I have sinned even to contemplate the idea. To allow my mind to wander down those comfortable but ominous pathways of what it would feel like to fall asleep in someone’s arms, exhausted, content, warm, cherished and comforted. I know people who would fit that bill. Thank God for sustaining me and giving me the strength to uphold my vows.

You had your night(s) of joy. In bitterness you find you must accept the sadness and pain that accompany the dawn’s rising and lust’s hollow aftertaste. But forever coupled with that bitter is the sweet memory of pleasure and ecstasy, the cost and benefit of this coming of age you chose…and with it, my resentment. And then you and your kind have the nerve to ask me to purchase only the pain and the regret with no recompense, no sweet to balance the bitter.

It amazes me you don’t even try, you don’t even try to make me feel better about it. No compensation, no consolation prize, no reassurance or “well hey, at least there’s (x) for you!” No “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you this, but at least there’s something else.” It’s just “yeah, sorry, I know that’s a bummer. Maybe you shouldn’t think about it.”  Or some tell me good job for resisting, like a friendly pat on the head to a dog. One person I know thought they could make it up to me in the bedroom. I’m sure the thought was kindly meant, but that’s the last thing I want is the promise to be taught all the smooth electric sex moves learnt while riding previous partners.

It’s hate that I feel, and I may as well admit it…the bitterness and fury of persistent abandonment, for being pure. Thinking I was saving myself for you, I find instead that under the surface of almost every person I scratch, hoping to find Luthien underneath, lies a rusted and repainted surface which reviles me for who I am…a reminder of who they aren’t, of their weakness and failure. A tower crumbled and rebuilt, which envies and shrinks away from the tower built on solid footing.

And it is now seven or eight such ladies that have been found wanting in this…who might have otherwise interested me.

No, I will not redeem it. I will either find the rarest flower with the will to stay strong, or I will break the gift just as you did, so that neither of us can have it. That would restore the balance, wouldn’t it. You would be relieved, wouldn’t you. The sinful side of me takes some measure of satisfaction in the idea of smashing that pure glistening jewel you long for but cannot reciprocate. It’s an ugly emotion, and not one to which I give energy. But it’s there.”

Statistically, 99% of the world, or at least of my peers, walk the earth with a secret satisfaction in their hearts. It’s not even discrete anymore; they all talk and share the meals and menus, recipes and recommendations, right in front of me, no shame. They, the ones who know it all, look with full bellies at one like me, struggling against the hunger, clap me on the back and say “cheer up, Beren! Why so glum?” Because I’m hungry, you bastards. I’m hungry, you’re fed, and I can’t find someone to love who will be strong with me in saving the menu for marriage. Even the older wise ones, with a lifetime of reservations and fine dining, look to me and commend me for my strength, but urge me not to hold it against those who didn’t wait.

There is an expression among my crass peers: “Doesn’t matter, had sex.” The world could be ending, yet the fulfillment of this one appetite still creates a point of significance. And what’s not to like? It was built to be amazingly attractive, the sensual epoch of the chemical, emotional, psychological and physical experience. Sometimes I want to ask them what it’s like, but why would I. Can you describe satiety to the one whose closest encounters with it are massaging the stomach to fool it into thinking itself full? They’re the wise ones, seasoned and sophisticated. I am the child, curiously peering like a feral whelp at a primitive toy.

I thought I could bury it. I thought I could outrun it. But they won’t let me. The world persistently casts me back against the knife’s edge, keeps reminding me I’m nearly alone, keeps slamming that pain up against my heart and demanding to know why I keep choosing obedience. Sometimes it’s harder to argue….but you’re not supposed to argue with the devil anyway. You’re supposed to resist him and his impeccable timing. You’re supposed to cling to that golden thread of hope and faith, and keep believing, keep doing what you know is right.

The kicker is then having to protect others from myself.

Part of me feels excluded. They get to know what sex is like before AND after marriage. Their amazing, breathless, forbidden trysts thrill the senses once, and then in committed relationships they are even more free. The one kid left on the bench while all the other ones went to play. The loner, standing on principle and feeling singled out and maybe even sheepish, but with a firm resolve to do what’s right, to honor God and his future bride.

I’m left feeling hurt, and devalued and worthless…like I wasn’t worth waiting for. Despite all I’ve done, despite everything I’ve tried to become, it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t deserve it. The gift for which I longed and strove to be worthy was given instead to some other, a brute, fixed on his needs and appetites rather than the will of God or the honor of his future wife.

I want someone who can count me worthy, even as I count her worthy. Let the world and all else burn away in the den of its current ruler.

November 30, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Purity | 4 Comments

Don’t

Don’t.

Don’t keep bringing this up. Don’t tell me I’m the problem. Don’t make me dredge up those feelings, or orbit in the unending sentiments. Don’t make me wallow in that anger or that hurt. I’m trying to bury it, for everyone’s sake. If only you could be in my shoes, see what I see, feel what I feel. The world would look so different. Your mouth would drop.

Don’t deny me something I’ve looked forward to my entire life. Don’t tell me to settle for less, lay aside everything I’ve worked for, saved up for, dreamed for. Don’t make me reenter that torture chamber. You may as well take a shotgun and blow out my insides. I’ll point to the place where it hurts — so familiar I could draw a map blindfolded, just beneath the rib cage.

Don’t tell me I can’t get what I want until I don’t want it anymore. Don’t tell me that my begging, pleading desperation for someone who complements me and understands my struggle is a sense of entitlement.

Don’t tell me someone is a new creation when memories and consequences remain.

Don’t encourage me to settle. Don’t coax me back from hoping love will be everything I hope it to be. Don’t tell me it’s not a big deal when all I’ve ever told is that it is. Don’t tell me I bring it up too much. It’s part of who I am. Don’t make me betray myself.

Don’t make me feel guilty for choosing not to adopt scars and ghosts that aren’t mine. Don’t insist it’s my obligation to accept regrets because I have none, for the sake of spreading them more evenly.

Don’t assume just because that is a roadblock in pursuing someone that it is the only one. Maybe I just don’t love them.

Don’t criticize. I need assurance and affirmation. The world laughs at me, tells me I am not wholly man, not wholly grown.

Don’t ignore or invalidate my hunger, or the strength and dedication it’s taken to restrain it. Don’t point fingers at me if I bow my head with the weight of despair that I am alone and will never find what I seek.

Don’t rob me of my peace, or demand I surrender it. Don’t remind me how alone I am. Don’t plunge me back into that maddening cloud of thought. Don’t insist it’s different.

Don’t bring up the unfaithful. I am hurt and angry and frustrated with them. Don’t mention those who were complicit; I want to hurt them like they hurt me.

Don’t assume I don’t want to talk about it. I do. I am restraining my natural impulse to protect others.

Don’t. Please.

November 18, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Purity, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Trapped

“Where are the heroes
In my time of need
Is my cry not loud enough
Or have they gone all numb?

They just stand and stare
Out of the rain
Thinking but not acting
That they’re not to blame…”
Within Temptation

Dear Darling,

I feel trapped tonight; trapped by loneliness. The road is so long…so long. The horizon is never-ending, and everyone else has gone on ahead. I find myself wanting to retreat inside myself, away from the world. But there’s only so far into that cave you can crawl. You can’t escape your own heart, you can’t flee from something that isn’t there to begin with.

I feel those resurgent feelings of abandonment, frozen outside the universe and wanting to escape back in. And the greatest sting is knowing I’m here because I chose the high road. I followed a higher calling, and now I’m walking a road with terrible drops on either side, a frigid headwind, and no companion with whom to link arms as we go.

I feel like I see too much. Like I’m weighed down by the sin and evil, isolated by virtue.

People are driving me crazy, and I can’t catch a break. One friend, ostensibly a good friend, became engaged just two days past. He did not wait, but she did. He sewed his wild oats, and now he reaps the harvest of virtue with the woman he has always dreamed of being with. His fiancee, incidentally, is a girl who many said would make a suitable match for me, but who was incredibly cold to me when I greeted her at work. This is the same friend who was invited to our mutual friend’s wedding when I was not. Another friend of mine posted photos of his wedding. I was invited, but he lives out of state and it was a silly cheap Star Wars theme anyway. (Sorry love, I don’t see us making our solemn oaths and covenants before Almighty God dressed as Han Solo and Princess Leia.)

Oh yes, and I also learned that a young lady I greatly admired and respected from afar is shacked up with her fiancee. Remind me to tell you that story one day, my dear. The lady I called the Nightingale, the virtuosa who was indeed quite famous.

And then I saw Friend-Zone again, and my heart hits the roof of my chest. She never even glances my direction, and what could I say to her anyway? I am simply perplexed that a door thoroughly shut in my face (slammed, really) still evokes reactions unbidden, and even as I despise these feelings, I welcome them as extrinsic to my own existence, and introducing a new feeling into a stale heart.

Then a complete stranger comes up to me at work and proceeds to vent her entire life’s story to me, her woes and her struggles and her trials. Darling, ordinarily I would look on her tenderly as a wounded soul in need of healing and compassion. Tonight, I could not. I listened for the better part of fifteen minutes, and made excuses to leave. I hugged her, I encouraged her, I wished her well, and I told her where she might go to receive true help, but I am neither counselor nor clergyman. There are many burdens in the world to be sure, but I bear my own, and have not the strength for the burdens of others, especially when I am weary, unwilling and unawares.

I have recently had disputes with family members I love, in which they are thoroughly unwilling to consider their own role in the dispute, nor enter into my own perspective and understand it.

These are the times when grim resignation sets in. I block the friends who aren’t there for me. I feel like telling off everyone I ever gave to who left or ignored me when I needed them. Naturally, this would simply make me the temperamental and bitter old soul who vents his frustration on people who believe they share no blame.

These are the times when all I can do is laugh that laughter of the sad and cynical…the laugh that is borderline madness, because my need is for tears. It’s an uncontrollable bitter reaction to an uncontrollable and bitter life.

Once again, the question of purity comes back to haunt. I think it would be so much easier to wait if everyone else did too. If the world was not replete with those gorging themselves on the feasts of the flesh, if I wasn’t surrounded by those who discard their virtue for pleasure, I wouldn’t feel as lonely or deprived. I wouldn’t feel like I’m the only one. But Darling, I’m not convinced God cares anymore. Look at the way he treats impurity in the Old Testament. Look at the way it’s treated now. Does He really care so much? Look at my “friend”. He is marrying the girl of his dreams, the girl he has spoken of so often about. He despaired of being with her, and yet now, he who slept with multiple women in college, finds religion again and finds his reward in the virtuous and pure woman who waited. I am filled with an envy and a rage, a sense that the pure should remain with the pure, and let those who plunged into the filth of lustful waters find their contentment with their own kind. I am sure this is not an attitude of God, but it is what I feel.

I guess I’m waiting because God said to. But I’m also waiting because I’m leaning on this increasingly frail hope that you’re waiting too…that we find each other unplundered, unspoiled. I think…I think if I were somehow magically able to know about you, and was told my beloved future bride would not wait, I wouldn’t wait either. What a horrible confession, a horrible realization. But there doesn’t seem to be any point. My head is bowed low not in defeat, but in despair of virtue. I know people wait, but I can never find the woman that intersects the things I seek. I really don’t see God getting bent out of shape. He is gracious, and glory to Him for it. But one of my greatest hopes (and fears) is whether or not you waited. If you can’t give me over to tears of joy by looking me in the eye and telling me you loved me enough to wait, then most of my reason (and hope) is destroyed. There is a strange freedom in the steely resignation of “so be it.”  There is invincibility and resolve that comes from killing hope.

But oh Darling, faint visions of joy still linger in the distance. There is hope and hunger for the destiny which has yet to be fulfilled, or illuminated, or even unwrapped.

A face is a key to happiness. A smile can heal. Your face among thousands or millions in the crowd will set my heart to overflowing delight. Just to see you. You will be the one to make my heart careen against my chest wall. We will belong together. Your smile will give me beauty and hope and strength. It will heal me, Darling, it will! And I’ll give back everything you give to me, and heal you, and lift you up.

We are but two worlds on separate orbits, two ingredients held apart by some unseen delay, pensive and poised, waiting for life to begin.

I love you with all of my being. Our separation is God’s will. Let us trust that He will bring us together in His time. Until then, think of me, pray for me and wait for me, my dearest love.

Yours,
Beren

November 5, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These, Purity | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk About the Honeymoon

“What raging fire shall flood the soul!
What rich desire unlocks its door;
What sweet seduction lies before us!
When will the blood begin to race 
The sleeping bud burst into bloom 
When will the flames at last consume us?”

-Andrew Lloyd Webber

Dear Darling,

What comes to your mind when you think about your honeymoon? Where do you want to go, what images fill your head?

I had a friend tell me once, don’t go anywhere exciting and fun! You might wind up not even leaving the hotel room.

Tell me…are you the sort of woman that yearns for the day of consummation, when you will take your husband into your arms and make him your own? Are you desperately aching to retire the shackles of restraint and self-discipline and begin soaring? Do you ever have times when you cannot wait to make love, early, often and with great vigor?

My fiery darling, if that describes you, then…I’m your man.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as aware of sexuality as I am now. Of how it pervades society…of how it motivates and drives people. Of how it drives me. It’s the engine that keeps on revving in the motor car that must stay parked. It’s that sacred fire, sequestered deep inside, radiating endless heat to every pore of my body. It’s the unbidden urges, the ravenous craving for a warm body to embrace. It’s a beast, a raging, voraciously hungry animal. I have to crack a whip to bring it into line. That’s good for you, if making love early and often is something you relish. But it’s not good for me. Not now. I love that beast. It’s part of me. It IS me. But it can’t make the rules. I must be the master, force him back into the cage, because he doesn’t belong outside of it until the due time.

To be honest, sometimes it’s hard to remember that due time will ever come. It’s hard to have faith that one day I’ll go running down to that cage, smash the lock and fling open the door. He’ll be set free at last. I’ll be free. We’ll be free. And then everything forbidden and taboo will become not just permissible but mandatory! We’ll be free, free to burn in the white-hot inferno of love, to dance in the blaze of our primal, pure pent-up passion for each other. I’m zealous that we should share this only with each other; you know this. I desperately hope you will be speechlessly proud of me for saying no when my body demanded otherwise, and make me speechlessly proud of you for waiting. And yet, I hope that you will expect no lesser standard.

And what will that look like, Darling? Can you imagine? Can either of us even begin to envision the strain and cravings building up to the days before our wedding? (By the way, should we have a long engagement or a short one?) Two weeks to go? One week? What about that last night, each of us going to bed alone, sending some last goodnight texts and thinking “last night alone, forever”? I don’t know if I’ll even sleep. Not one wink. But that’s okay…because I doubt either of us will the night which follows.

When morning arrives, I have a hunch I’ll absolutely fly out of bed. I might flit around the room before hovering downstairs for breakfast. Maybe you’ll have beat me to awakening and will have sent me a good-morning text. (But no, the old tradition is not to see the bride before the wedding. I think we must agree not even to communicate!)

Imagine it: thoughts and butterflies and nerves all whirling and flashing about in dizzying haste, life slowing down and speeding up at the same time, heart racing as the ceremony commences. As you walk down the aisle all in white. Faces will be looking, music will be playing. I’m sure somewhere in the back of my mind, angels will be singing. We’ll say our I-do’s. There’ll be a kiss. We’ll greet the guests, eat the food, dance the dances. The sun will set. The hour to depart will draw nigh. We’ll hop into our JUST MARRIED car and take off.

But where?

Well Darling, of course you’ll have a say in that. But I’ve got Plans. Ohhhh yes, do I have plans!

I don’t think either of us will want to travel a great distance that night. As much as I’d love to take you through an airport security checkpoint with your gown on, show you off, let the entire airplane applaud us, I don’t think either of us will have that energy. So let’s stop at a hotel for the night and save the travel for the next day.

Can you imagine checking in at the front desk, the clerk giving us a wry smile with our room keys, and we two trying to keep poker faces as we head up in the elevator, stealing kisses the whole way? Hmm. I think I just decided we should get a private lodge or house somewhere rather than a hotel room. Yep. Definitely. One of those chalets in Gatlinburg, I should think. First thing inside the door, I’d say it would be time for some record-breaking kisses.

Will we want food? I think my stomach will just grin, give me the thumbs-up and say “to heck with dinner.”

Knowing me, I think I’ll be terrified it’s a dream and I might wake up. I might need pinching. (Maybe you’ll oblige me.) I think I’ll have that feeling of my gut dropping out, the gasping, gaping “this is finally for real.”

I suppose we’ll both need to shower?

We’ll both be nervous as anything. But I want you to know something right now. I may be a virgin’s virgin, but I’m not uninformed. I’ve done a little homework. I know the first time is often painful for women, and that men have a reputation for giving reign to instinct, turning into hormone-fused time-bombs that ignite too early and leave their partner disappointed. I want to be among the first men who prioritized their wives before themselves…one of the few guys who anticipated the problem and averted it. I want to go slow and let us both savor the moment.

“At the door of every bridal bedchamber, an angel stands, smiling, with a finger to his lips.”

Ah, and the morning after! If we even sleep at all, to wake up in each other’s arms, as the sun spills on the sheets and the birds sing, and we both arise, forever changed.

But what about that travel I mentioned? Darling, how does a private island sound?

How about an abandoned beach house, miles of uninhabited beachline and open ocean sound? We can dance like no one is looking, explore our temporary tropical paradise (and each other) together, and make love on the beach as the sun sets. We can go swimming in the ocean as the moonlight dances off the water, build fires on the beach, kiss each other madly as the tropic rains thunder down, watch the sun rise, go boating in the open ocean.

We will give each other wholly and completely to ourselves. We can share our secrets far from civilization where no one can hear. We’ll share our innermost thoughts. I’ll haul out the chest of letters that I’ve been saving for you, years of them, for us to go through.

It will be a honeymoon of great renown. We’ll remember it for years. You’ll be breathless to tell about it, your friends will be amazed.

I hope this indicates the kind of life I hope to build with you. I hope we’ll have the best relationship we can’t ever talk about. I hope you’re as hungry and eager as I am. I hope we’ll turn each other on effortlessly…that you’ll read the smolder in my eyes, and dare me with come-hither looks, even years later.

Let’s never allow the spark to die.

Now of course, all these plans may unravel. They say never to expect the perfect wedding day because nothing is ever perfect. The cake could be ruined, it might rain, the candles might set the drapes on fire, the dog could wet on your dress. The world could be tumultuous, the flight may be delayed, there might be war. One of us could be sick, or we could both wind up a little awkward, annoyed and unfulfilled on our wedding night. We won’t let the possibility of failure prevent us from striving for success.

And to think! These red-lettered days may only lie nestled among the next year or two of our lives!

I could go further. I think my meager gift of words might just be enough to arouse your desire and your passion for your husband like never before. But a knight and gentleman would not broadcast such things publicly. To do so would be unwise, imprudent and unkind. Discretion bids us close the lid on this box of wonders and speak no more of it until the due time. Love must not be awakened prematurely.

But oh darling….what a lovely way to burn.

-Beren

October 14, 2012 Posted by | Anticipation, Our Timeline, Our Wedding, Purity, Things Other Guys Won't Do | 5 Comments

Sundry Thoughts from the Weekend

Dear Darling,

I stepped off the bus and headed towards my car. It had been a long day, though a former classmate shouting my name in greeting provided a momentary bright spot. It was a dreary day, but I didn’t mind. I like them. I’ve some stresses and pressures looming, but I’ll make it through them. There was nothing different about the day, but for some reason, I was assailed by an unusually strong dose of anticipation. It had to do with the song “I Just Died In Your Arms” on the radio, and for whatever reason, I suddenly felt renewed and violent pangs of desire and sadness — desire, for your arms to come home to, and sadness because I knew they wouldn’t be there. A brief trip inside the mind of having you in my life, and a sorrowful retreat from it. No fear, the moment passed. All too quickly…but not quickly enough.

I thought again how much I’ll relish picking up the phone to call you, feeling my phone buzz getting a text from you, playing Words with Friends. How am I ever going to keep my mind on my work? All I’ll be wanting to do is get back to my phone and see what you just sent me.

That was a couple of days ago. I’m afraid that then, and since, I’ve been spending the past several weeks cramming things into my mind that it doesn’t normally use. It’s been wedging to the side the things that come naturally, which only tonight flow back into their natural state.

It’s funny how sometimes you have to take a walk and let your mind unpack and decompress. I was quiet and reclusive at dinner and no one really noticed. I finally went for a walk and the thoughts began gently draining, interspersed with prayer. I realized I had feelings of anger towards a colleague who outperforms me at many levels. His knowledge runs deeper, his humor exceeds mine, and he performs better than I. Then I thought of a friend I haven’t spoken with in some time, and how she had received a minor injury. I had to ask forgiveness for the terrible sin of feeling grimly happy at the pain of another. It’s a maladaptive satisfaction of a primitive desire for revenge, and it’s silly and sinful. Things like her actions really shouldn’t hurt me. No one should have that power, except maybe you.

Breathing all those thoughts out and away, I looked to the horizon to see a dim yellow moon, waning as she rises. I think…I think that’s how I feel tonight. A little worn down, a little on the down-swing. Frayed. I have plenty of short-term reasons to feel that way, but even longer-term. I feel older than my years.

Sometimes I read these letters and think you’ll be wondering if I’m bipolar or have radical mood swings, because first I’m confiding dark secrets and sad musings, and then I turn around and weave promises of our happy life together. Maybe you’re going to have to teach me how to laugh and lighten up, but I’m not bipolar. If anything, take from it that I intend to give of myself to you even when I’m feeling bad. I’m just going to need you to be there for me when I am.

Anyway. So it’s been a busy week, full of many new experiences and thoughts. I’m not sure they fall into any specific category and so I list them independent of importance or relevance:

1) I cannot stand people who are infatuated with their own pretentious importance.

2) What if God isn’t training me for politics? Maybe I’m changing. Maybe God is, or His plan for me. My future seems to be. I simply feel a growing sense of hatred towards politics. Or at least the fact that I keep fighting and seldom see results, or am recognized for them. I had to speak at a conference, and I just wanted to get away from it all. I had to stand before a hundred people and impress them, and felt a resistance so strong I had to ask the Lord for the strength and enthusiasm to follow through. (He gave it to me.) Lights and glory don’t do it for me anymore. I don’t feel like I want to do what it takes to pursue the path I thought I was supposed to take. I’m not fake enough. I want to fix problems and have them fixed, not dwell in a perpetual cycle of prolonging the problem because I enjoy making money or attention from it. I shouldn’t be this easy to discourage. I got everything I wanted out of the trip, but I feel detached, like my trip was actually a movie I watched that faded with the credits. I feel like I became someone else for a weekend, immersed in a 48-hour getaway, and that was it.

3) I’m so looking forward to the freedom of travel with you…to make our own decisions and afford our own adventures. I don’t travel alone often, and compare most vacations to the family excursions, which were great fun, and we voted on activities, but to be alone with you and make the decisions ourselves will be fun.

4) A winking green light or vibration on a cellular phone can be a very cheering thing indeed.

5) I wish they would outlaw string bikinis. Seriously. Darling, I work with the human body all the time. Both genders, all parts. As much as I hate that my barriers to the human body were broken down in that way, it was somehow in God’s will so I accept it. But to see someone strutting down the beach in a bikini, and suddenly forced into the position of “look anywhere but there” when you can’t look anywhere BUT there, not because you derive gratification from it, but because, well, that’s some woman’s butt just flaunting and wiggling and strutting around, right out in public. I feel like a woman’s body should be worth more than that. This is a root of my anger towards those who don’t wait. They should be worth more. Sex should be worth more. It shouldn’t be cheap. As a man, I feel like access to a woman’s body should only come with 100% complete lifelong trust and commitment…through marriage. A man should earn and strive for that kind of trust. Flashing it out in public for anyone to see…or giving sex freely cheapens it. It depresses me that so many men take or receive such treasured goods so freely. It’s unfathomable to be so cavalier, so nonchalant. I hope it also means that something they didn’t work for means less to them, but you already knew that as a virgin, I am trying to suppress a growing resentment and hatred for cheaters. No one quite seems to understand this anger I feel. To me, it is perfectly natural. I do know one thing. The years of fighting desire will take their toll on us. You and I are going to have to be extra careful, or we’ll end up playing with matches in the powder room.

6) Every pleasure brings with it the pain of not sharing it with you.

7) My world is shrinking. It’s not that there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s just that under this stoic and impenetrable poker face, those things are less stimulating or surprising. I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie, but the thought of standing on the prow of a boat struggling against a headwind, a sea-spray and rain in my face, the possibility of failure and death looming, somehow appeals to me. There’s not enough risk

I want new sights, new tastes, new sounds and smells. Darling, I’ve done a lot of “big” things now, and I’ve found it’s the small things that bring the greatest pleasure. It’s not standing up before a crowd of important people and delivering a speech…it’s finding a peaceful moment on a deserted beach under a full moon by the ocean. Nature holds more meaning to me than a room full of applause. It’s the little things like going for a run, or finally having a weekend off, that make the difference. It’s a familiar face in a crowd full of strangers. It’s hearing your name shouted out, and turning to see a friend who is glad to see you. It’s the gifts of surprise and laughter, of knowing you can be there for someone, that they need you and you’re making a difference. It’s the stories you gather in life. It’s the things you think won’t be good that surprise you. I’d like to be surprised by goodness again.

8) How many times do you wait (in vain) for someone to show you they care before you assume they don’t?

9) Am I changing? I’m becoming quieter. I realize I laugh less. I’m not as funny with other people as I used to be, and I don’t know why that is. I feel like I’m more boring than I wanted to be. I think if you asked people who knew me, they would stoutly disagree, but I feel that way. I’ve always been a blend of introvert and extrovert, but maybe I favor introversion more these days. It’s always been an ongoing battle in life, to be open or closed. Being open is freeing. I hardly have anything to hide in life…I can afford to be open. But life cuts off your nose if you’re too open. People don’t like a guy who is open, because he makes them feel bad about having so much to hide. A girl was asking me questions about myself the other night, and in my typical frankness, I listed my traits, including faith and waiting till marriage. She, a believer, immediately admitted she was less pure than I. There’s too much shame and sin and regret in their eyes. I don’t want to exist to put people to shame, but nor do I want their shame weighing down my own shoulders.

10) During my trip, I saw so many happy, smarmy, cutesy little love bug couples. If they weren’t so spread out along my journey, I’d have called it a convention. They were clasping each other’s hands, nuzzling each other, stroking each others’ hands, arms, shoulders, kissing. So affectionate, so in love. Sometimes they caught me looking, or almost did because I looked away the moment they appeared to look my way. Oh sure, they’re probably doing it wrong, they’re probably just more cheaters to be angry with. I don’t much care. I’m glad to know love exists, to see it in practice. It’s funny to me how many people malign marriage and discuss their marital displeasure and frustrations. Most of them choose it. And all I can do is look at these happy couples, distantly, wearily envious, wishing it was us. Imagine people taking for granted the most precious and wonderful thing in their life. I can’t help but feel married life, even at its worst, is going to be better than single life.

I want, I need someone to care for me, to show me they care, to give of themselves. As I view the world around me, the mean and meager minds which weigh a man by his measure in money, or what things he can do for them, I feel even more alienated and estranged from them, from the planet they live on. I look at a person for what I can give them, what their needs are. That’s just how my brain works…how God made me. I can hardly claim sainthood. It’s probably actually selfish, because helping others makes me fulfilled and happy. (Sort of.) But every so often, I need that person who wants to know about me and only me.

Darling, my mind may be fertile and rambling, but it is not inexhaustible. Somewhere out there, I hope you are sleeping peacefully and dreaming wonderfully.

Me? I’m just sitting here waiting on forever to begin.

Yours ever,
Beren

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These, Purity, Sundry Thoughts | Leave a comment