Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

The Eve of Salvation

FiresideKissDear Darling,

Any war can end when either party resolves to discard all prior offenses. Consequently, I was under the shadow of the tree tonight in all its glory, dining with the family and watching a Christmas movie. My budget really wasn’t thrilled with the array of gifts purchased weeks ago and only now wrapped and brought to the tree, but it doesn’t matter. Whether or not it is returned, whether or not it’s always carried out in prudence, I am a giver and that cannot be changed. I always hand-wrap my gifts, and this year I experimented with some new packaging which turned out splendidly, minus the glitter on my cheek.

I’ll be headed back to spend Christmas Eve and Day with them, but for now I’m home. The clock strikes two. I used to be a stranger to this hour, but now it’s an old friend, full of thought and memory, rhyme and reminiscence. I wrap myself in them, and arrange their finer aspects for your consideration.

I cannot recall a time when Christmas and I were more estranged. I don’t like it, but I’m learning to be okay with it. It is a hazard of maturity, perhaps. Man goes from believing in Santa to disbelieving, to becoming Santa, to looking like him. I have not quite mastered the properly indomitable spirit of Christmas to be as giving as he, but the act itself is gratifying, and I enjoy the thought process of giving. Indeed, it came all too easily to me this year.

We grow wiser with each year that passes, I think, and with it comes the sight to see the problems of the world, and how gravely we still need the Savior born in Bethlehem.

It seems that to everyone I know, this Christmas, like the last, finds Christmas shining less than it once did, which causes me to think it’s more than just age that has seen its colors fade. If you think about it, fewer people decorate with lights than used to be. I remember going driving for hours with my parents to look at the decorations. The times are growing darker.

The traditions seem musty to me now. I shudder to imagine I have outgrown them, but I can quote nearly all the movies word for word, and the songs. It’s all very predictable. For me, the kingdom of Christmas needs refreshing, and I am too old to expect Santa to do it.

Perhaps it is proper that our shimmering veneer be peeled back for a time, that the days be seen as they truly are. Maybe the fact that work and school have kept from me many of the customs will allow them greater fondness through absence. Or perhaps the rest of the year has seen pleasures that simple Christmas can no longer rival. Regardless, stripping away many of the childhood comforts does help return one to the proper focus of the day, to the definition of true love, and remind us that there really is only one Reason needed this season.

You and I will make our own refurbishments, carve out our own new traditions upon our arrival. I’m certain you will breathe fresh life into my Christmas, and seeing my family’s traditions through your eyes will be a blessing. And one day, you and I will (I hope) be Santa and Mrs. Claus to our children. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize one cannot depend on others to make merry. Therefore, I hope you’ll understand my interest in hosting Christmas parties, and of course, a dance or two for the winter and new year. I’d certainly like our lives to be devoted in some measure to the happiness of others, and not just those who can reciprocate.

And of course, if I haven’t already exhausted the thought, there are so many nights awaiting us to sit with nothing on but firelight and tree light, sharing of our hearts and bodies and souls, waltzing to carols and murmuring our love amidst kisses uncounted.

The warmth and depth of my wishes for you this Christmastime transcend the weight of words. May joy inexpressible permeate every aspect of your season, and may you forget for a time the griefs and loneliness which life so rudely imposes. Be sure to find a sprig of mistletoe somewhere, and meet me underneath for our annual Christmas kiss.

Love always,

December 24, 2013 Posted by | Holidays, Loneliness, Nights Like These | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Lonely Kiss Goodnight

07. Adolf 'Jodolfi' - A Passionate KissDear Darling,

Sixty hours takes a toll on body and mind, and an insufficient sleep schedule mingled with loneliness is an unwise concoction.

I dined at home for Father’s Day and all was well. Heading out the driveway, I paused. To the right was the swift and familiar way home. To the left, the deserted country road which took me exactly the opposite direction but would rebound to take me home. To the right was efficiency and practicality, and all good sense pointed that direction. To the left, solitude, solace, contemplation and wasted gas.

Loneliness does strange things to you — I turned left.

I rolled down the windows to smell the damp air, hear the dripping trees and see the night stars. The night was cool and every song reminded me of you. For a half-moment I considered driving all the way down to the river, but the turn had passed.

I think I just wanted something new. Once the road rounded to take me home, I turned off again and took yet another detour home. One day I will enjoy guiding you down these roads, or finding others on which to get lost.

I showered by the light of a single candle, and sat down to write a letter. But I felt listless and without inspiration. My book and even the internet, in all its entirety, felt dull. Sleep, though undesirable, felt the only remaining option.

I thought about the morning, during the shallow services of the mega-church which employs me. I felt a strange disinclination to pray this morning. A colleague was supposed to substitute for me and allow me to find some other church which lent depth to its worship and teaching, but she forgot, obligating my presence. Darling, they advertised their phone line by which you can text your prayers! Is this not merely a cheap gimmick of the 21st century seeker-friendly church which cheats the meaning of the fellowship of believers?

I found myself greeting the usual colleagues, before sequestering myself in a vacant prayer room with my phone and my book. I felt that I should take advantage of the time and spend some of it in prayer; but…I didn’t feel like it. This concerned me, as if it were a trick of the devil to draw me off from the Father. A pace and employment of this nature seems already to lend to such a conspiracy, which is why I try to spend time in His Word, and to listen to truth through solid sermons during showers or meals. Then I realized that, perhaps, setting and context had some bearing on the matter. This feels a house of fakery at times, or at least gimmickery, and with such loud performances and crowded hallways, it took away from prayer.

So tonight, upon closing the lid, I knelt to pray.

There is often a quandary set up between maintaining decorum before the Father of All, and the honesty of showing a true heart. We must become less ourselves and more the people God wants us to be, and yet surely He wants to hear us as we really are; since He sees our heart of hearts already, to pretend to be more or less is to be dishonest. But I sought to be thankful for the many blessings I have, and then admitted I felt dead and dull and uninspired tonight. I felt that even your touch and love wouldn’t cure it.

I then sought to return to what I should be, and scrolled through friends to pray for them. Of course, scrolling past the people who are married, engaged, in relationships or having babies, or one or two of my near-misses, or the ones who left the path of wisdom, served little to cheer my spirits. (As if that was the goal, but when your reservoir is this empty, what is the good of depleting it further?)

I crawled into bed and found my way to the disconsolate jazz of Chet Atkins, beginning with A Fool To Want You. A small spark lit inside my heart; the image of you leaning over to kiss me. It roared to life and flushed through my body, a craving stronger than anything I’ve felt this day. It seems, if given the choice to feel pain or feel nothing, I would choose this bittersweet pain every time, for I don’t know when I’ve been beset by so great a longing, merely for a kiss. Just a kiss! Never have I wanted something more. But we both know a kiss isn’t just a kiss, or it wouldn’t be so powerfully longed-for. Perhaps your touch would have cured these doldrums after all.

We must both bear the ongoing pain of being apart, of course, but until then my dear, light a single candle in the dark, wrap your arms around your shoulders, close your eyes, and imagine us slow-dancing to these songs, and their meanings, knowing that I Waited For You, and I am Almost BlueEvery Time We Say Goodbye.

Then imagine being put to bed with a gentle kiss, behind which smolders every pent-up ember and unseen flame of my love for you.

“Good-night, good-bye. God bless you, dear, and give you love, and joy, and cheer!”


June 17, 2013 Posted by | Loneliness | , , | Leave a comment


24. von Riesen, Arno - Kiss Me

I woke up this morning wanting to kiss you.

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment