Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Ode in May

Ode in May
William Watson

Let me go forth, and share
The overflowing Sun
With one wise friend, or one
Better than wise, being fair,
Where the pewit wheels and dips
On heights of bracken and ling,
And Earth, unto her leaflet tips,
Tingles with the Spring.

What is so sweet and dear
As a prosperous morn in May,
The confident prime of the day,
And the dauntless youth of the year,
When nothing that asks for bliss,
Asking aright, is denied,
And half of the world a bridegroom is,
And half of the world a bride?

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May 15, 2014 Posted by | Poems | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Time Is Coming

GleamingBrideDear Darling,

We all have our time in the light.

I’m not talking about fifteen minutes of fame. I’m talking about the moments where the sun shines fair and the light catches us just right to magnify all of our best and favorite features. We look our best, and feel our best, we feel grand and capable and hopeful, and everyone is looking at us while it happens, wishing us happiness and joy.

You’ve had a taste of that here and there, I know. Times you won, times you were proud of yourself, never happier to be you, times when everything came together at just the right time, or you were paid a compliment that somehow fell through your defenses, or you caught your reflection smiling back and approving your favorite outfit.

One day, someday soon, that day is coming round, bigger and better than it ever has been. It’ll be the sum of all those parts put together. Your friends will come to honor you, our families will celebrate and give gifts. The bells will ring, the organ play and down the aisle will come the only person that matters among the whole crowd in the entire church. Every eye will turn to you, radiant and glorious in white.

You will get to fret over wedding cards and decorations and venues just like you’ve wanted to, only this time you won’t be worried about bridesmaids’ outfits which fit or compliment you, but your friends. You’ll shine brightly in our engagement and wedding photos, and of these I attach the greatest premium. I don’t see us lacking for photographers with as many friends as I know in the industry, and these are the captured moments that can outlast a wedding gown or bouquet. We won’t let our friends and family be snapping away with their phones, but invite them to be present in the moment itself.

You will go from joy to joy as we seal our vows with a kiss, celebrate our union with a dance, and then depart at last.

But it’s not just a day, sweet heart. Days can disappoint, fail, be sabotaged. Winds can mar, rain can soak, tempers can flare. We can’t hinge all these golden hopes on the one day, but each one after. We can rest in each new morning, in the simple and intricate confidence of knowing we rise together to face life’s challenges.

You can rise knowing you’ve found something equal, something new. Something that turns your head because it touches your mind or heart in a way no one ever does, that you thought no one could. Something surprising and unexpected. Someone who asks questions, appreciates rawness, can get you to talk more, invite themselves to listen more. Someone who gives you an outlet, a ray of hope, a new perspective…or who will at least try.

Oh my dear, you’ve lived in the shadow often enough, unappreciated, unrecognized. You’re a crown of beauty, and one day the curtain will draw back and you’ll be properly brought into the light.

And oh, how you’ll gleam.

Until then.

Love,
Beren

March 20, 2014 Posted by | Anticipation, Our Timeline, Our Wedding | , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Just Anyone

UnknownBrideDear Darling,

“You should be talking to her,” he said. The officer, a friend of mine, who knows my goals and wants me happy. “How old do you think she is?”

I just shake my head.

Tell me, how do you deal with the people who, through no fault of their own, fail to hold your interest? Do you give almost anyone a chance, or are you as discriminating and skeptical as I?

For all their flaws and failings, people do try to be kind when they hear you are single, or newly-single, and will try to set you up with people.

How can you explain what you’re looking for to these people?

Someone at the megachurch tried very hard to set me up with her friend. Someone else has suggested that I date his daughter…or other women in that church. (I haven’t the heart to tell him that anyone satisfied by the superficial placebo sermons presented there is, much to my sadness, almost automatically out of the running.) A production volunteer has prioritized finding and talking to me between services, enough for others to think perhaps we are an item. (I neither encourage nor discourage her, but she knows I am not interested.) Another volunteer outright asked me to coffee.

At the hospital, one or two nurses have told me they want me to meet their daughters…or (between their smoking breaks) make subtle overtures of their own interest. (And in some cases, not so subtly.) And another acquaintance has suggested a girl I should meet.

Darling don’t think I tell you these things to brag or make you jealous. You know you have nothing to worry about, and I know that a woman as fair and kind as you must also be solicited frequently. How do you turn them down gently? I, who would not do injury to another’s heart for worlds, find myself in positions where I must decline with tact and gentleness. It’s kindly meant, but how can you explain the sum total of my philosophy on dating to such as these? How would you summarize the thoughts of these letters into a few fleeting sentences? I know many of these people sufficient to know they lack the qualities I look for in you, and I am skeptical of any other offers of strangers who might fit the bill. I know the impossible odds I face; a random stranger who goes to church and likes guns isn’t nearly a good enough reason to suppose there is great hopes for a marriage. And it’s not like I can ask random women for phone numbers based solely on looks like the rest of the world. In fact, I can’t think of the last time I met a devout servant of Christ where I work. Why pursue a woman and waste her time if you don’t see a marriage in your future? I’ve felt that connection before…those growing hopes that won’t be denied, no matter how viciously your cynicism wants them gone.

How do you tell the people that ask what you’re looking for? How can I explain that I’m looking for a lady rather than a girl? Someone of unimpeachable character, a fist of iron in a glove of velvet, a lady of exceeding purity and depth and faithfulness, a sanctified daughter of the King whose foremost goal is to shine for Him and to set other souls ablaze? Someone who abhors vice, of enduring strength and beauty and grace, who has weathered the storms long enough to recognize the fatigue of battle in another’s eyes, yet not so beat-down that she can’t kiss away those sorrows, or have her burdens lightened and joys multiplied in return?

You know I no longer desire furtherance of the dialogue on purity with my coworkers. I won’t shy away, but people always get quiet and, I think, guilty when I say I’ve upheld that standard and seek its equal in another. What if someone made a mistake, they ask. They think it sounds too harsh to say a woman may do as she pleases, but must accept the consequences of her decisions, since I want someone who values what is sacred, who is strong enough to keep those unspoken vows and has honored the marriage bed. But of course, it’s more than that. How do you explain shyness and boldness wrapped into one? How do you explain that you seek an enchantress who can bewitch with innocence? And how to contend with the many aspiring women who long for their own Beren, but without having to put forth the effort of becoming Luthien?

I need a caretaker for my heart, who will take it in hand and examine it for meaning, combing out the prickles, stings and scars from the day…refreshing it with compassion and grooming it to be loved. I need someone who asks but doesn’t question. Who shares its joys and smiles away its sadness. Who cleanses it with compassion, forgiveness, acceptance and unconditional love.

I love old people, and if ever I discuss the challenge of finding a good-hearted, God-fearing woman that walks the earth in these latter days, they often nod with grave sympathy and understanding in their eyes. They have watched the decline for decades longer than I, enough to know how bad it’s gotten. They know. And they feel bad for me.

You know now that there is nothing I ask that I haven’t already undertaken in myself. When you have my heart, all will be well and whole, and complete. We’ll never have to worry if it was a mistake, because I promise I’ll never marry if I lent any authority to such doubts. And truly, once you wear my ring, you will hold a foresworn promise of devotion and service, no matter what the cost. And all my hopes and purposes and dreams will lie with that ring, and its bearer. All that I have will become yours, not the least of which my heart. I won’t want anyone else. I’ll remind you I love you.

Sometimes, I imagine you already know who I am, and are just waiting for me to find you. Do you know, with a word, you could turn my world around? Sometimes I imagine a day when, if you were to find me, you come right up to me and say “Are you Beren?” or “I’m Luthien” and watch my entire world shift. Everything else would fade away except you, you would draw in all my attention and, as if on cue, I would probably say “What did you say?” Then we would find somewhere private and quiet to talk. All a fantasy of course, but don’t tell me you haven’t imagined your groom, in all his invisible armor and raiment, emerging from the crowd to take your hand and take your breath away?

If I could, I would find you now and set your world to spinning properly. If I could, I would enter your dreams this very night if that would sweeten them. I would find a New Years ball and take you dancing if I could. I would do anything to lighten your load and end your year on a high note. As it is, I can only bottle up these letters from the prison of your absence and hope they wing their way to your heart.

Love always,
Beren

December 29, 2013 Posted by | Holidays, Loneliness, Uncategorized, Wonderfully You | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment