Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Love Letter


I could write You so much. I have "topics," big, small, cute, full of Izy-profundities. But to do that I would have to dig in a little, to reach in, and, out for words, for flow, for a way for words to hold hands, all the while keeping an eye on grammar, in a language called "second" to me.

I'd rather think of You, then, in thoughts wordless. Or, better yet, in fugitive mental pictures. Sometimes they also reach in, and out, to one another, to the me who's often outside of me. Then I could watch all this as if a kind of spectator sports, amused, astonished, or afflicted. Somehow their ghost-like filaments, also reach in and out to form flows, constrained by a grammar and gravity all of their own.

There's an aching to all this, swelling, palpable, and literal in my chest. I remember Saul Bellow in his Anderson the Rain King, said something to the effect that when Anderson sensed beauty approaching, his teeth ached. How well I know that feeling! I used to have to flee the library when suddenly struck by an un-named force out of some words I had read, to pace clumsily all over the campus; round and round till the tide in my chest receded and exhausted. There was no one to tell, no one to make sound to. It came and went silently, in the greatest gush of solitude. Pain resembled ecstasy. Yet without a name. The closest word I had for the whole thing was beauty.

My heart ached then, as it does now. Back then I didn't know what it was aching for; now I am made to understand, so sometimes I weep without tear, or sound. My heart defies the constraint of silence, it leaps up, up, to Beauty, to its Beloved.

To You.

Then, I know once again that word fails, or cracks. What I wanted is a love song, but I'm the poorest soul for poetry. I searched and searched and came to settle for Chesterton's engagement letter to his beloved fiance, on these words, bouncier and sturdier than what could have been my own:

There are four lamps of thanksgiving always before me: 
The first is for my creation out of the same earth with such a woman as you. 
The second is that I have not with all my faults gone after strange women -you cannot think how a man's self-restraint is rewarded in this.
The third is that I have tried to love everything alive,
a dim preparation for loving you.
And the fourth is but no word can express that: here ends all my previous existence
Take it, it led me to you.
Unlike Chesterton, I have, in a manner of speaking, "gone after strange women."  Grateful thus more, I am, that I have been Pardoned.

Love, Izy

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