Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

If That Were Us

DancingDear Darling,

May I have this dance?

I told you I don’t do a lot of things for my own sheer pleasure, but this outdoor jazz concert series is one of them. They’re playing All of Me, and Stardust and In the Mood…the sounds of our grandparents’ generation. This is classic and classy; art with a melody breathed into it. Musical history come alive. Music let us say the things with song that we might not say with words, and in these tunes are many of the things I’d like to say, or have already written you.

It’s a quaint amphitheater, not as much amph to it as the name suggests, but the saxophones and trumpets are in full force in the light of a setting sun, and there are several couples and a handful of children dancing by the stage.

There’s maybe a hundred here, but it’s mostly older couples, with some younger couples who bring children. So far as I can see in scanning the crowd, I’m the only one flying solo. Some of the parents are younger than me, but look older, as though having children made them grow into parents.

If that were us, we’d have brought camping chairs because you know my long legs don’t fold up well under me when sitting on the ground. We’d have stopped somewhere to eat before coming, or we would have brought dinner here.

If this were us, we’d have a steady appointment with frozen yogurt after the music ends. That Golden Retriever over there? That could be ours. Our children would be the ones running around the grounds, dancing in a circle down by the stage.

If that were us, I’d invite you to join me in faking our way through a dance or two.

If that were us, I might be playing catch with our son like that dad is. Our child might be the mischievous one whose father grabs him just before he sneaks backstage. You might be the woman leaning on one arm and looking with affection at her man laying beside her, like that woman is doing.

We might be like that older couple that just got up to dance. His hair looks like it came from the 70’s but he knows his moves and clearly enjoys them. I creep down front and snapped the picture of them as the sun set. That’s them that you see above. I approached them afterward to compliment them and send them the picture.

I wish I could describe it better to you. The vendors. The rhythms. The faces of people enjoying the simple pleasures rather than plugging in to the television. But you have to be there.

It could be us. It will be us. Some day.

I think I found our first dance song by the way, if you’re in agreement. Etta James’ At Last

It started to rain as I headed out to walk tonight. As the skies emptied, my heart felt just a little more full, and I couldn’t hide the broad smile, soaked though I was. You know I love a good storm, and walking in it made me realize that along with things rare and old that please me, it’s often the simple things that suffice. Some simple jazz songs and a rainstorm are enough to rest my heart in the belief that our days are coming, and may be closer than either one of us dares hope.

Yours,
Beren

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June 4, 2014 Posted by | Nights Like These, Our Timeline, Our Wedding | , , , , | Leave a comment

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