Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Help Me Lose My Soul In Your Song

Framed by MoonlightDear Darling,

It occurs to me that in unburdening myself from the plurality of doubts or questions that assail me, it’s possible I’m only adding to your sadness. Could it be that sharing the loneliness and darkness which lurk in between the hours only makes me a sort of emotional parasite?

I certainly don’t mean it to be. I mean it to be the sharing of my innermost thoughts, a reflection of the things I will find precious in you. It’s a demonstration of trust. Most secrets are a burden to the soul, but for now only you can be trusted with this, that at times, blackest night fills my soul.

Now you may rightly suggest such trust is diminished if yours aren’t the only eyes that can read them. And perhaps those eyes too turn away, like humanity does when it observes a plight upon which it cannot improve. But I believe in setting an example in all things, and you should know that I have received letters from the other souls who were inspired to create the same treasures for their future spouse, and to better themselves in the meanwhile. And I hope you’ll accept that in fair trade, knowing that there is only one person in all of humanity for whom these words are written.

Who do you inspire, being the lovely creature I know you must be? Being someone’s inspiration is always gratifying, and for me it seems to be occasioning more often of late. It happens when I’m not trying. Miluihun has taken up swimming because it was something I suggested. I’ve been cooking up enough food for a week at a time, as well as working out, both of which are habits to which Alegfast has expressed interest. I think we should always strive to be someone that inspires others…if for no other reason than because in so doing, we inspire ourselves to become better. We never know who is watching and imitating.

So tell me, how was your day? Was the weather as opulent for you? I spent most of it sleeping off last night’s shift, an exciting night fraught with people trying to die. And as I wander the neighborhood tonight, I find myself settling into a feeling of contentment. Correctly I judged that restlessness rears its head when I’m not caring for others. The night was exhausting, and fulfilling, and educational and gratifying. It doesn’t hurt that school is out and I’m free to perform these labors; I’m glad to break free of days yet again, no longer thrall to the sun.

I think it’s important to enter the throne room each night. (Of course, I also think it’s also important to approach God’s Word every day and on that matter I’m less faithful.) That’s one reason I take my walks. It’s a form of meditation…it allows you to step outside of your own head (or perhaps inside of it) for a while. When you walk into the throne room, you realize how much you’re carrying from the day, how much you need to unpack and sort, what to throw away and what to hold on to. Sometimes I realize I haven’t really thought about the Lord for a lot of the day…much less you or even myself. But I’m not always sure that’s an evil.

It’s the perfect temperature out here tonight, with silvery clouds framed by a burgeoning moon. (The photo you see above.) The streets are silent and vacant. A blended host of fragrances wax and wane during my walk, earthy moisture, soothing winds, pungent shrubs, fertilizer. And although I try to pray, or compose letters in my head, I find silence serves me better than anything. I think perhaps this was even the Lord’s doing…to compel me to be still and know He is God. God wouldn’t have left us those words, “be still and know I am God,” unless our human natures inclined to the opposite of both. (I think if there were only two words I were permitted to travel back and give my younger self, it would be “talk less.”) Sometimes prayer or worship takes work…but sometimes there’s a restorative peace in these silent walks, and I hope you have the opportunity to duplicate them.

I booked the band for our wedding tonight, by the way. Now don’t get ahead of me, for you’ve final veto authority if you’d like. But of course such are always in the back of my head somewhere, and tonight I attended a live jazz concert outdoors, and as the music poured over my ears like so much honeyed brass, strings and reeds, I thought of you and wished for your presence. We’d have danced, I think — not particularly gracefully, though I daresay it won’t be vain if we learn together some day. (Few things lift my heart like live jazz, much less the renditions of the songs from a bygone era.) I approached the director afterward to inform him that I would like him to play at my wedding. He asked when it was, and I explained that with my first sentence, he now knew as much as I did. They gave me the going rate, and as far as I’m concerned, they are hired. I can already see you swaying in my arms to the gentle sounds of big band romance.

They played this one song tonight, Darling…I think you’d have liked it. Rio De Janeiro Blue. “Months go by,” went the third verse. “I wonder why, I’m left here on my own. Could it be my destiny, is to live this life alone? These dark and rainy days have turned me cold; long and sleepless nights, gettin’ on and I get a feelin’ that I’ve seen the last of you, Rio De Janeiro Blue.” (Aye, more of the blues than jazz in that song, but ’twas here especially that it plucked the chord of loneliness in your absence.)

All around, I see the continual reminders of the advancing years. I’ve told you about the marriages and engagements and such, but even within my friends and younger family, job interviews, graduations and drivers tests abound. A foreshadowing, perhaps, of how parenthood will speed by in the unfolding of the years, and as we watch our children grow. For all practical concerns, all of the life we’ve lived before now has taken place in a second. Every year we’ve lived is now compressed into what has passed, existing now only as a memory. I’m a sad frown, adrift in a sea of smiles; couples and dancers and young love’s romancers, all whirling and gay and if they look at me, it’s with the unspoken question, what’s wrong with him that he finds not the love we found with such ease?

And yet, I think we may rightly console ourselves that the best of the years are still in store. It is with this hope that I close this letter, sealed with a kiss blown onto the night air. There may it be carried to where you sleep, and there may it warm your dreams.

Love always,
Beren

May 14, 2014 Posted by | Nights Like These | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thawing and Freezing

Cold and LonelyDear Darling,

During any good and proper winter, the snow comes. It beautifies and mystifies. Then it becomes old and tiresome and dirty. It thaws and melts and evaporates.

Then it snows again. And we are awed again. And the cycle continues.

So also goes the heart. It chills and freezes, and thaws and melts. Such changes in extremes compromise even the strength of iron, and sometimes on nights like these, a heart is caught somewhere in between. Tonight, caught somewhere between frozen in sadness and melted in desire, I rolled down the windows in 27-degree weather just to find some equilibrium.  It’s really quite pathetic the phases I go through sometimes.

I was supposed to have classes today, but by the good graces of the university, the ice and snow which laid siege to the city closed them. Unfortunately, this decision was made only once I had completed the hazardous trek to the university. I’m blessed to have such flexible work hours that I changed, went in to the Houses of Healing, and was assigned a floor.

Last night, I was invited to a “Super Bowl Party” which was neither super nor a party. Not, mind you, that I care overmuch about sports. But for its social and competitive value, coupled with the intervals of entertainment, make for a reasonably pleasant evening under the right circumstances.

The house was full of strangers, and worse, strangers in a worship band. You know I have spent nearly three years in a megachurch receiving four and five times the recommended weekly dosage of such personalities and performances, by those who treat the act of worship as a concert for man rather than an offering to God. I would rather socialize with the police officers who guard the church any day of the week. Some vague faces emerged to introduce themselves (itself a social grace which temporarily surprised me) before returning to their own cloister of social acquaintances. They were even unable to show the game for most of the evening.

My friend Miluihûn (“Kind-heart”) invited me. I’ve mentioned her many times, though never by that name. We had three dates and called it a friendship, and to that we remain to this day. (My mother insists we should be husband and wife, but she doesn’t know you like I do, and I should laugh if ever I thought you to be jealous of her or our friendship. It is possible for us to be friends without romantic context.) She was under deadlines with her studies to be a nurse, and I was stifling amused chuckles at the nature of the “party” (remember, when things get really bad, it often drives me to my own private smiles and laughter) so I made a rapid and covert egress out the door (missed by no one) and was soon joined by Miluihûn and her roommate at her parents’ house. I helped her parents install new cabinetry, and then helped her with a school assignment while watching the rest of the game play out.

It’s hard to relate to her and the crowd of friends she keeps sometimes. The church at large seems focused on catering to a world of damaged, broken and hurting people. I struggle and pine, but I am neither damaged nor broken. By virtue of being unbroken, I am isolated from a church bent on bolstering its numbers by reaching out to this segment. Another irony forged somewhere between principle and pride, I fear.

Instead, the cure seems continually to be the cure for others. Buying shirts the other day, I greeted an overly cheerful clerk. Upon observing her marked cheer, I dryly (but not unkindly) asked her what substances she was on. She remarked that her father had recently died and lent a new perspective to her life. (Sometimes my dear, as I’ve said before and you’ve no doubt seen, people and their emotions are bubbled up; a simple pinprick away from popping.) I expressed my deepest condolences and inquired further.  She admitted her deepest regret was not saying goodbye in time. I gently told her that in my experience, the dying often wait to embark until their loved ones are not present. (There is a consciousness beyond that of medical detection, which keeps people holding on, or gives them peace to go…and sometimes it’s just the difference of telling someone “it’s okay to go.”) She seemed to appreciate the insight.

A friend once told me people felt safe and comfortable with me because I was open and seemed to be without guile. I’m uncertain about that as I’m certainly not without hidden sides. But it is fatiguing and empowering all at once to relate to people, even in casual encounters, on such a deep level. 

I’m applying for a trip to Ecuador this coming summer. Being the hands of the Lord in this case may also fulfill study requirements. (But do you think it’s okay to set aside tithe money for the purposes of such a trip?)

And finally tonight, my dear, it seems ever thus that I am the one who has needs he must conceal. It would be nice if someone needed me…and told me so…and made me believe it.

Stay warm and safe and loved tonight, my dear.

Yours ever,
Beren

February 4, 2014 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment