Forgotten Art: Jasper – Seth 7

A reply to: A letter from Seth

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Dear 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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Confirmation. The path of energy is anything but stagnant. It’s OK to seek a new constellation.

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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.

Your friend,

Jasper

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Forgotten Art: Jasper – Liam 5

A reply to: A letter from Liam

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Liam, my friend!

It’s been too long since I’ve written you.

Why, I could have sworn it was just two days ago that I received your last letter. But when I look back, I see it was two months!

Forgive me. I’ve been puttering about, as my grandfather used to say. It’s not that I’ve been rushed–each day’s been full of the luxury of summer. But perhaps that’s just it. It’s been summer, and I’ve been swimming the tides of days, and now, here we are, nearing summer’s ends, and the first cool breezes have begun to sneak in on the backs of the morning fog seals.

It is nearly the end of summer, and I have been too full of the long luxurious days to even think to write!

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Now, as the fog horn blows, it’s time to remedy that.

Greetings, Liam!

I trust all’s well with you and yours. Have you settled into sweet times after your dangers and adventures?

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After my long stretch of much to do with nothing much to report, I suddenly have news!

I am host to a Writer In Residence. In fact, Bucky Duckson, renowned poet and wandering bard, is currently staying with me in the old brick house.

He arrived road-weary and travel-beat.

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But a fresh shower, a plate of taco casserole hot from the oven, and he was brimming with energy again.

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I have a good friend who is an editor at a small independent publishing house, and he’s the one who suggested that Bucky stay here during his summer tour.

The house has plenty of room, and I find inspiration in being around other writers. I’ve told Bucky he’s welcome to stay as long as he wants.

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The inspired buzz has thrown both of us into productivity. I painted a pop-art portrait of Bucky: the artist and the dreamer.

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Bucky has volunteered to write a poem for me in return.

“I’m not so sure I need a poem,” I told Bucky.

“Not even for a favorite teacher, who might also be a special friend?” Bucky had already met my charming organ teacher, Micah.

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I can imagine that Micah has probably had dozens of poems dedicated to her already. And I’m too old of a fool to be tossing one more in her direction.

“Or what about a family member?” Bucky asked.

Now there was an idea!

“I do have a rather remarkable niece!” I told Bucky, “who has a birthday coming up very soon.”

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He was interested in hearing everything I could share about Meadow.

“I’m on it!” he said, after I sketched her life story.

The next day, I threw a party so that Bucky could meet Meadow, and friends and family might meet Bucky.

Meadow was delighted.

“Bucky Duckson!” she cried. “I read your quarto!”

My editor friend had published a small volume of Bucky’s work. Good stuff!

“That one poem, especially,” Meadow said. “‘Granite Falls Girl.’ That’s haunting. It’s beautiful!”

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Bucky spent a good amount of time talking with Meadow’s good friend and room-mate, Mizuki Suzuki, who told him about Meadow raising Jena and returning to school to become a therapist.

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Norm filled Bucky in on Meadow’s childhood dreams.

“Did you really want to be a fortune-teller?” Bucky asked her.

“No!” she laughed. “Not a fortune-teller! A storyteller!”

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“I’m mostly a storyteller,” said Bucky. “Poets, you know, tell the best stories.”

They talked about folklore and myth.

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After the party ended and all the guests left, Bucky stood outside gazing at the moon. When he came back in, while I was washing the dishes, I heard him clacking away on his old manual typewriter, which he uses exclusively to compose his poems.

He showed me the poem the next morning, “For Meadow.” I’ve enclosed a copy of it.

I’m going to give her the original for her birthday in a few days. She’ll laugh. She’ll blush. She’ll claim it was written for someone else. But the truth is, this poem, in all its praise, hasn’t an ounce of flattery: only veracity. Meadow is all that.

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Bucky seemed to find nearly as much joy in writing the poem as I did in receiving it to give to my niece.

Liam, if you’ve ever wanted a written tribute for your Lenora and Alina, Bucky is a poet-for-hire, and a damned good one, at that!

Well, I’m off to walk across the bridge with Bucky, who said he wants to experience all the traditional adventures of the city. We’re heading out now so we can return in time for the Spice Festival.

Enjoy summer’s end, my friend! And wishes for health and joy to your family.

–Jasper

Author’s note: Bucky Duckson really is a travelling poet who writes on commission! If you’d like him to stay with your Sim or to simply write a poem for them, you can reach Bucky at his Writer-in-Residence thread at the EA Sims Forums. Many thanks to LegacySims2017 for letting Bucky stay with Jasper for a while and, especially, for the lovely poem! 

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