Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The Love Letter

I'm watching a sweet romantic comedy called The Love Letter. The premise is that a lonely bookstore owner finds an anonymous love letter and how it affects her and others.  The text of the love letter is this:

Dearest, Do you know how much in love with you I am? Did I trip? Did I stumble - lose my balance, graze my knee, graze my heart? I know I'm in love when I see you. I know when I long to see you, I'm on fire. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking a step. You are all wrong for me and I know it, but I can no longer care for my thoughts unless they are thoughts of you. When I am close to you, I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you sometimes, then I look back. When I tie my shoes, when I peel an orange, when I drive my car, when I lie down each night without you, I remain,

This is not the greatest love letter I've ever read... think Shakespeare's Sonnets, or the drippily sentimental, but still moving, Sonnet 43 from Sonnets from the Portuguese, of "how shall I love thee, let me count the ways" fame.

This little love letter, though, really touches something within me, and awakens some memories that I usually try to keep suppressed. I've truly loved three men in my life. Any one of them could have been forever, but each had a fatal flaw that basically kept them from committing to living in community with anyone.  With me. One, my husband is dead. The other has been lost to time and space, though he did contact me about ten years ago - not truly sure why; maybe he was working a program and needed to make amends, or maybe he was trying to line up the next woman to take care of him.  The third is someone that I see often in my every day life - a beautiful man, who is growing older and is rather needy, but still, has made it clear that he cannot, will not, chooses not to get involved with anyone ever again.

All three were not truly available.  That speaks to something within me, something that I take out of it's box and inspect from time to time, but not tonight.

However, the sweetness of this note from this second rate movie moves me. I am that person. Still. And I am not open to meeting or loving someone else, even though I am lonely, because my heart is caught in a familiar net of longing that will never come true.

Everyone has a need to be known and loved despite their flaws and dark places, to be loved for their true selves. Humans are pack animals - we need and thrive on some degree of companionship. Me too. I'd like to be loved like that, to inspire a letter full of passion and longing.

I will have to be content to say that I've loved like that. Yes, I have.

That's something. Right?