A reply to: A letter from Seth
Thank you for your letter, and my apologies in my late reply.
My receipt of your letter was delayed. You see, I left town for a spell, on a personal mission of sorts.
While I was away, I asked a friend to collect my mail. Which he did, faithfully. He delivered it when I returned, all except for your letter, which had fallen behind his TV stand, and which, since my friend rarely cleans house, was not discovered until yesterday. By now so much time has elapsed since you wrote. I suspect you may have immigrated to a completely new universe, as I feel I have.
I trust all is well? Have you been able to build upon the honesty with Sarah that you described in your last letter?
I hope so, and that you and Sarah are both healthy and reasonably happy.
I am both–happy and well.
My personal mission was a complete success, surpassing even my optimistic hopes.
My life and family have expanded since I last wrote.
My nephew Norm got married. I was fighting a flu (the flu won, temporarily, though I’ve emerged the victor now, with a robust immune system fairly bursting with antibodies for that specific virus. Three cheers for white blood cells! Warrior lymphocytes to the rescue!), so I did not attend the ceremony, but by all reports, save for my nontraditional niece Meadow’s, the wedding was a smashing success. A good time had by (nearly) all!
A few other expansions have happened within my own nuclear family, too. I won’t bore you with the details at present. Suffice it to say that the old aphorism, “Open doors lead to happy homes” holds true.
I have been busy.
You live with another, so you must be well acquainted with ways that conversation tracks through the daily routine. When I lived alone, I seemed to have plenty of time for everything–when I wanted to talk, I called a friend, invited someone over, or strolled to the coffee vendor in the plaza. Conversation happened on my terms.
But now? Now conversations seems to happen at any odd moment!
I am not complaining, merely stating that I’ve been busy, busy talking.
Of course, the frequent chatter makes the moments of quiet more valued. Do you find that?
I had forgotten the simple joy of spending silent time in the presence of another, the joy of living alongside other living beings.
To hear someone breathing beside you, to hear another’s unexpected laughter, to feel that body warmth that can stretch even across the distance of a couch pillow. And socks. I had forgotten what another person’s dirty socks smell like! How odd that this, too, would be a source of contentment.
I’ve been expanding my culinary repertoire. Have you or Sarah ventured much into the vast territory of recipes containing cheese? Not fancy cheese, mind you, what some may call “stinky cheese,” or “ew, gross cheese!” But good plain cheddar, preferably white. Simple, white cheddar.
It is amazingly versatile and, from all reports, even makes broccoli taste “delish!”
I’ve always considered myself to be a happy man, except, of course, during those crises when falling apart or mired in the depths of grief. Even a happy man experiences different flavors of life, sometimes–those undercurrents and shadows that ground the high tones. The basso continuo to life’s merry melody.
But now, I am happy at a new level. Maybe it is deeper? Or maybe, it is that it can be shared. When happiness contributes to the happiness of another, it becomes happiness squared.
Forgive me if I don’t answer all your questions. I find, on a typical day, I now spend about three hours answering the questions of another. And so my capacity and energy for question-answering is taxed.
I will skirt around one of your questions, though. You asked about dreams. I won’t tell you about my dreams. But I will tell you about an experience that was as rich as dream and as profound.
This happened shortly before the expansions in my household I’ve referred to. I took a walk through the city, winding up near a public festival in the Arts Quarter. It was a thinking walk, so I kept apart from the crowds, wandering the back alleys. I’d been talking to Bess in my thoughts, as I do, especially when I feel I am approaching crossroads.
The full moon shone down. I looked up, and, like a romantic, asked for a sign. A breeze from the bay. The silhouette of a jet across the moon. And the pink explosion of fireworks followed by a thundering boom.
Confirmation. The path of energy is anything but stagnant. It’s OK to seek a new constellation.
And a new constellation is what I now find myself in.
Seth, I hope your and Sarah’s lives lead you to happiness, expansion, and the rich fullness of breathing the same air.