February 18, 2015

An Open Letter to Anaïs Nin.

typewriter keys
Dearest Anaïs,

I have a confession to make.

I have borrowed some words that you wrote, for a quote in a book I have penned.

Of course it’s a book about impossible love, the kind that tears at me with unsheathed claws. But really, what other kind of love is worth living?

“I want to love you wildly. I don’t want words, but inarticulate cries from the bottom of my most primitive being that flow from my belly like honey. A piercing joy that leaves me empty, conquered, silenced.” ~ Anaïs Nin

I’m not sure whether I mentioned before, when we met walking among the stars one night while I slept, that I have a lover who also inspires these words.

He’s not as wordy as Henry is, but what he cannot express with his pen he shows me with his exquisite body. There is poetry in the way he makes love to me. And his smile, yes, his smile reads like a sonnet. His eyes impale me with ancient truths that he carries on his soul like armor.

I’d like you to meet him. He craves the company of intelligent, sensual women. The two of you could flirt and I would watch silently from my place on the settee, I wouldn’t even mind if you stole a kiss. I know you would try, because you love men who inspire great openness. You could kiss me too.

The men in my book are also men you would like. They’re warriors, knights, lovers and thieves. 

Thievery is tolerable from men as long as they are stealing our hearts or stealing something we need to live on. I’d like to have roses stolen for me from someone’s garden. I’d like some silk stolen from a silk worm, spun into sheets for my bed. I’d like some stolen figs and pomegranates.

None of these things would have any meaning if they were bought with money. Like a stolen kiss, a stolen lover. There has to be risk, a lie, a dream of attaining something that is forbidden.

I know you understand this because you kept a box of lies. To keep things straight. All the fanciful portions of your colorful existence; filed in a box of lies.

I admire that about you.

You created Anaïs. You formed her like a potter on a wheel of turbulent clay.

I’m doing it too, forming myself. Word by word, moment by moment, experience by experience I am realizing the magic of me.

Do you hate me for stealing a page from your book? Please don’t say you do, because stealing from someone’s book of life is the ultimate compliment. In any case, I’ll bring you chocolate from Belgium next time we meet (stolen of course) and you’ll forgive me straight away.

You said something else that inspired me.

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.

You have spoiled me for another kind of man. That is a gift you have given me. Thank you, my friend.
But perhaps the greatest thing you have taught me is this:

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.’’ ~ Anaïs Nin

I am a slave to my pen now. It owns me. Words own me. The echo of your words and the words of many brilliant writers haunt me. I will never be free again.

I will always be at my desk, coffee cup in hand, my hair in a mess, a silk chemise barely covering my shivering body as I spill myself in ink onto the blotted page of my consciousness.

Visit me Anaïs? Let’s take a walk by the sea. Let’s walk naked into the waves and invite the mermaids for tea. They would come because we are kindred.

One last thing. I’ve been watching a rose in my garden. It’s pink. Delicate and afraid of the cold. I’ve named her Silence. She is so silent; sometimes I want to cut her down so she will shriek with fury. She is slow to open. I’ve left her a note. They’re your words. I’m hoping to inspire her.

“And the day will come when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anaïs Nin

Silence is pondering. She’ll let me know.

My scissors seem to be of no threat. She thinks she’ll die either way, from blooming or cutting. I wish you would tell her that death is an illusion. She doesn’t listen to me.

Will you write back to me Anaïs?

I’ll wait. I think you will write. Because you don’t know how not to write. I know you, Anaïs.

With love and longing,

Relephant read:

Fifty Shades of Anaïs Nin.


Author: Monika Carless

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photos: flickr, media library

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