Oh, the thoughts that come to mind when my mind calls on you…
For you I see corners of forest that only water and stone have touched. I see sunlight through live leaves that turn the underside into bodies coursing with shades of green that have no name. I see warm banks and streams that coax our ever- moving mouths into silence and reverence.
You let me live in both fantasy and reality.
I cry only for two reasons: when we are connected and when we are disconnected. And every set of tears that I look forward to having with you are storied with nothing but love, because I am not afraid of connection, and I am not afraid of disconnect.
I do not wish us to be soothed of ill fortune in our lives—whether it is by the hand of each other or some outside force. I wish for us all the good fortune and all the bad fortune in the world, and I wish the handholding to be just as strong through all of it.
I am human because of you. And all my human ways that trap me up inside my head and threaten to bring on war sometimes go away when I am with you and sometimes do not, but it does not matter because it feels so beautiful being me when I’m with you.
Hear me when I say this: I am me when I am with you.
It is not that our love saves me from suffering—I suffer. I do not wish not to suffer, because when I’m with you, even my suffering feels exquisite—I know I am here to accept myself and learn how to share myself with you.
I do not fear the future because I do not want to.
And please, take this personally, because this has not always been this way.
I have called people lovers who brought me fear. I have looked into men’s eyes and found children, corpses, broken machines. I have crawled into nooks and beds and cars with boys and called it love while jealousy and fear and assumptions nested inside of me. I have used my feet to run away when I got scared, instead of planting my stance and waiting for fear to turn back into love.
I will hold my hand out to you, even if you don’t want it—even if you decide tomorrow that my hand is not something that brings you joy, it will extend to you for the next millennia. It will extend to you because my love for you is not predicated on your love for me.
You can do nothing wrong. This does not mean that I will always agree with you or that I should. It means you can absolve yourself of guilt when you behave in ways that I don’t agree with.
There will possibly be a night where I don’t want to see your face because seeing your face will bring about that disconnect that I mentioned earlier. And I will cry.
But my tears are my gift. They remind me that I’m me. They remind me that I choose your company.
The point is not to agree on everything.
The point is love.
I want to feel your love the night I win the lottery and I want to feel your love the night I lose it all. And I do not think one of those nights will be better than the other one.
It’s like not being able to see the cresting sails of the out-to-sea ships because you cannot conceive of there being such a thing as ships that sail and dock and sway—this story has never been imagined before (even though I feel like I’ve imagined and prayed and meditated on it for thousands of years).
So when we go to write our story—which we will, when I am 90 and you are 103—we will write of love that sets every atom into life, and although so simple and fundamental, it will befuddle even the likes of Shakespeare. And we will keep a smile to ourselves because we will find our thousand pages in just one line of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets: the prize of all too precious you.
We are both extraordinary and completely common.
I do not ask you not to break my heart.
The moment I didn’t move my eyes from yours was the moment I accepted to be yours forever if that’s what happens, or to let you go if it does not.
I ask you to be who you are, and if I wake up one day and decide my heart is broken, may you not worry for even one moment that something wrong or bad happened.
I am not here to escape heartache. I’d rather not go through it, sure, but at the end of my life, I’ll know that nights without your heart against my heart have been just as grand as the nights we wrap together.
I do not fear not being with you, and this makes me love you more.
May I rise to the occasion and learn from you the following: forgiveness, curiosity, courage and empowerment. And may my learnings bring me higher with you and with every person, place and thing I touch from here on out.
We can look forward to a hundred-million futures together, but please know, as I write this: I want us as we are now. And although I cannot say for certain, I suspect I will want us tomorrow as we are tomorrow. And although even less certain, I suspect that on Friday I will want us as we are on Friday. (I think you see where I’m going with this.)
And so the hand I spoke of earlier—the one that reaches out without expectation that you reach back—extends softly to you now.
May this letter be simply my expression and may it exist purely without any intention to keep you, change you or manipulate you.
May you feel nothing but love.
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