I have a collection of wooden boxes that contain mementos from long ago. I have carried them for almost thirty years and today they are still hard to toss. I did let go of the hospital wrist bands from the birth my eldest child and the umbilical cord clip. Yes, I kept everything. I boxed up, for donation, dozens of earrings I no longer wear but can't bare to trash. I confess to owning quadruples of lipstick, mascara, and eye pencils and palettes. I pitched the bulk of it, keeping only one lip color I love and making sure the eye pencils I saved were useable.
Now, to that letter. I will tell you that I believed every word written when it was presented nearly thirty years ago. Things changed. I spent years angry and pissed off about how that relationship turned out. The betrayal was overwhelming. After years of therapy, I walked in to the therapist office and cried through tossing the remaining items I was saving (for someday) - gifts I had tucked away, until... That hurt has passed and I have certainly lived though more and worse, but still I am holding this love letter. As a matter of fact, I have a rather large collection of love letters from past relationships. In and earlier purge, I sacrificed nearly a year of written correspondence that rained love, compassion and understanding. What a pity!
I have decided that I am going to keep my love notes, cards, letters, post-its, CDs and cassettes (remember we used to make those, before playlist?). I honor that I opened my heart, repeatedly, and allowed another to get close to me and me to them. I celebrate the dance of our time even when we stomped off the floor and ended the evening in a public row. I was prone to intensely passionate loving expressions. I maintained that same fervor as our patience, tolerance, and compatibility faded.
The intervening years have cleared my interest in that level of interaction; I live free of chaos, crisis, and confusion. And while my memories are sufficient to recall many a boisterous disagreement, I prefer to relax and enjoy rereading our expressions of love. I have a broad collection of published poems and essays. I read the poetry of Rumi and Hafiz. But, how very personal are the notes that were written for me.
A lover asked his beloved,~Rumi
Do you love yourself more than you love me?
Beloved replied, I have died to myself and I live for you.
I've disappeared from myself and my attributes,
I am present only for you.
I've forgotten all my learnings,
but from knowing you I've become a scholar.
I've lost all my strength, but from your power I am able.
I love myself...I love you.
I love you...I love myself.