Unwritten Letter #1

I survive. I am grateful. I don’t get lost in the valleys and plateaus of this ever shortening life. Sometimes I remember. Sometimes the memories are fleeting and brightly coloured and tinged with laughter. Always bittersweet, and I can stand the bitterness that prevails for the single warm dissolution of sweetness on the tongue of my mind. My sister’s hand. A minute mandarin orange. A moment of peace.

And then I receive a letter from you.

There is a vortex of darkness. Of self-doubt. Of shredded ends of prayer shawls and chairs toppled on the floor. Of continually failing. Of unconditional love given but uncertainly received. Of trauma bonding. Of weakness. Of never knowing why.

The vortex doesn’t veil the things of loveliness. Spaghetti. Tea. A quiet day in Hell. Love.

But these things lie at the top while I am sucked down the gripless spiral, just seeing your handwriting on a letter, your name on an email. I question every word, every syntax, as I do when I write in response. Hands gone cold tremble as the pen my students gave me travels to draw ink from the well.

I don’t know what to say to you. Amidst the maelstrom of emotion that has been unleashed I cannot draw one single word.

I walk on eggshells when you are with me, because I fear I won’t please you, or give you what you need.

I have worked so hard to recapture some of myself from the illness that nearly tore me out of this web of existence.

My family asks me to let you go, to let you dissipate into the whispering tides of what used to be.

That is not who I am.

Love, once given, is always and absolute. And though I guard my heart and mind, there is a place for you still.

But, as a flower too soon come to bloom, my lips and fingertips have suffered from a late frost. I stand on a strong spring shoot, but my flower will not unfurl.

Is this the truth you’ve been looking for? Another round of pain where you expected comfort?

I have done my best to maintain and keep on living. My closure has changed more than you might imagine.

I survive. I am grateful. I don’t get lost in the valleys and plateaus of this ever shortening life. Sometimes I remember.

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