An excerpt from a letter written to an old friend ... it's waxing a bit eloquent for how I usually think and write, but I thought that some of you might find it interesting. He has gone through a rough path of road this past year, and so much of what I write is to encourage him to look at his life through some new glasses. At the end of the note I tell him of two new "conjoined" words I've come up with lately, and invite him to let me know which one most buoyantly floats his boat.
5 December, 2007
Good to hear from you old friend. Not to be too nit-pickety, but there's a pretty big difference between someone being self-absorbed, and someone offering themselves (and the ones they most dearly love and who most lovingly need them) self-care.
I don't want to deny you the joy of abasing yourself. But I want you to feel like you can cut yourself yourself some slack without buying into the lie that self-care is the quickest route to narcissism. You are many things, but self-absorbed isn't one of them.
Chapters of our lives have different levels of involvement with one another -- different sea-wall markings of time invested, burdens shared, and souls welded together and torn apart. And while we've been a bit sporadic in this last chapter, LOVE, the thing that separates duty from real friendship, has never gone missing. It's been quiet, but it's not lost.
So tell me of your loves labors lost, of your rickety bows stressed, and of your tempered timbers strained. Sing to me of your valiant joy, your seas crossed, and you miracles uncovered and lived into. Strum me melodies of hopes built on faith not sight, harmonies of vision rooted in spirit not just mind, and chant to me the digery-doo low tone sagas of foundations tried, tested and found to be true -- life stories no less epic than Homer.
I believe that in your cottage, nested warm and centered near the hearth, your lover, and your enchanted retriever, there are new poems waiting to be written, and new dances that will someday come to life with feet and hearts both fully alive.
E.M. Forrester isn't the only one who saw the tangledness of love, the serendipity of coincidence, and the pied glory of dreams dreamed and fully-blossomed.
Alice Walker isn't the only one whose words turn purple from adjective to noun, and then to verb -- and whose imagination sees redemption as strong as a monolith, as deep as a cravass, and more undeniable than our own laps.
Van Morrison isn't the only one who has moondanced his way from melancholy to mirth, and from hating God, to loving God.
Bill Monroe isn't the only one who taught strings to jump over the moon whether plucked, caressed or romanced.
In you I see these same things ... love, dreams, imagination, redemption, transformation and stubbornly ornery godliness that refuses to say that "the end is the end", until of course, it is "the end" -- at which time, of course, "the end" will most likely become a "new beginning."
T.S. Elliot's quartet is now a quintet -- for you have joined it, and him and me, and God and others of like-hearted ilk who are willing to see past the foolishness of standing on the sidelines motionless when we can be stepping out a polka, wailing a bit off key but with the gusto of a newborn, and believing that in spite of what all our circumstances may proclaim that God is real, that we can know Him, and that the Creator of the universe is nuts about us.
I love you old friend. I do. Don't forget the days gone past when your dreams turned into non-fiction. For these days can and will happen again.
To close, and in the spirit of all things conjoined, I offer you two new words this night. And I beseech you to let me know which one your heart and mind most impulsively coax you to embrace.
The two root words of these alphabetically-altered-articulus are opportunity and responsibility. And the two new conjoined words (drum roll please), are ...