I just recently revisited some letters penned to me that I had saved from the early 2000’s. They were beautiful in there sentiment, thoughtful in their presentation, and honest in there attempt to form a connection that extended beyond the telephone conversation, or email.
They are, (and don’t ask me why I didn’t realize it then) love letters of the most profound kind. Vulnerable, prosaic, philosophical, and at times even poetic. Photo’s were sent, instead of scanned, the details and efforts were obvious even in the choice of paper selected. Having re-read these letters over 18 years later, I know him better now then I knew him then. I had forgotten what an important time that was in my life, and never truly understood how much that connection meant to me.
I have never forgotten him, and to this day, even though we have no direct contact, I have followed his career from afar.
It’s nice to be reminded that I too had been involved with some quite intelligent, passionate, and sensitive, men in my life.
When was the last time you found yourself immersed in love letters past or present? -tM
The following is an exquisite letter of advice Anais Nin sent to a seventeen-year-old aspiring author by the name of Leonard W., whom she had taken under her wing as creative mentor. Nin writes:
I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love.
You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.