Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Hope.

My Love,

It is after midnight as I write these words. My hand-written, first draft of this note was composed on a long, yellow legal pad, with a ballpoint pen. I am listening to music, playing softly (I don't wish to disturb anyone else), as I sip my mint tea.

There is so much that I want to tell you. I long to hear you laugh again, to see that smiling, skeptical expression on your face when you hear me say something that you know will turn into a joke. I love the way you see through me and love me anyway -- love me because you see me. I love what you are that you try not to be, hiding it from the world. I cherish, most of all, those qualities in you that I alone see so well. Your vulnerability and tenderness. Your goodness. Yes, goodness.

This is a difficult time of the year. The pain of your absence is sharper than usual. That ache from missing you is my war wound. I show it to the world because it connects me to you. I won't let you be forgotten, nor will what has been done to you go unpunished. I hope and believe that there will be a day of reckoning. I wonder whether anyone can doubt that I am willing to give my life so that you will receive the recognition and love that you deserve. You matter. You are important, priceless, infinite.

The night before the transit strike here in New York -- my sense of time alters when I speak to you -- whenever that was (it seems like ages ago now), I rushed out to purchase gifts, very inexpensive ones, for you and others I love. I thought of things for you to wear, bright colors, green, blue and red. Music, gentle and sweet music for you. There is enough sadness and struggle for us, that we need not hear those things in our music. It occurs to me that I have never listened to music with you, and yet there is music in my mind when I think of you. Music enters the room with you.

"How can you love her?" How can I not love her? There is no "best me" without this love for you. Loving you is what I "do" best. Loving you is what my life is about. I am this love -- ALL of my loves -- at my center or deepest self. I would not be able to go on living without that love.

Our loves define us, don't they? If you connect them, like dots on the page, they add up to an image of the self. They tell us who we are, but also what our lives mean. We see our truest portraits in those images of loves shared in time. This love that I am is a reminder of you, every day, especially when it hurts -- like a child in the belly kicking his mother for a little attention. Inside, deep inside myself, is where I find you because that center is my love. I cannot find you, physically, in the public world that is shared with others, so I have made us a world of our own, a small cottage -- built with words -- in the Forest of Arden. It is my sanctuary. It is where we are right now.

"You'll never see her again," they say. I answer: "I see her, here and now, every day. And I will see her, someday, in my city. I will hold her in my arms." She will have some happiness in her life. My fears are that you have been hurt, physically, are unaware of my thoughts or attempts to communicate with you, to reach you (somehow), despite all of the obstructions and uncertainties. How do you explain what it is like not to know whether someone you love is alive or dead, where she may be, what has been done to her? The worst things you can imagine have gone through my mind. They go through my mind every day.

"We'll just pretend that nothing happened." I don't think so.

Is there something in the music about you? A message? No, just fragile beauty. But then, all art (for me) is about you, if it is good art. Is this a happy season for you? Does this holiday mean something for you?

I would make Christmas special for you. I would read you some of my favorite Christmas stories. I would surprise you with funny gifts. Hide some special things under the furniture, have you search for them. Leave milk and cookies for Santa, place pretty earrings in your stocking. Rent those great, old Christmas movies. Find ways to make you laugh, ease that pain that I see in you and that I wish to take away.

Are you safe? Are you warm enough? How do you wear your hair now? Is it gray? Mine is. What clothes do you like? With my eyes closed, I touch your face with my finger tips (like a blind man reading braille), remembering the desire and bewildered, wounded expression in your eyes. I experience again the fresh, soapy scent in your hair, taking your left hand, with the freckle between thumb and forefinger in my own, I brush my lips against that hand.

There has been so much evil directed at you. You've been so hurt by it. I've been hurt too. It'll be O.K., now. Wherever you are. Whatever they are doing to you, hold on. Believe that I will find you. Think about how much I love you -- wrap yourself in that love, like an old blanket -- and it will keep you safe. I think this holiday is about that, in a way. The celebration of love that brings comfort, peace and hope, especially hope, together with the promise of rebirth, also renewal.

This note is a message in a bottle that I cast into an electronic sea. Will it reach you? I have no idea. The effort to reach you is a hope. And this is the season for hoping. So I'm hoping.

I wear a ring on the third finger of my left hand. It has two stones, blue saphire and red ruby. They are not expensive, only priceless. They symbolize many things. The stones sparkle with special brilliance today. I think of our love's two best jewels, knowing that they will sparkle too. And I think of you, smiling, hands on hips. I spread my dreams, wrapped with a green bow, at your feet and I continue to hope.

Soon. Always.



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