The elation I had felt before reading her message was gone
Leaving place to a feeling of uneasiness
Yes, for the first time she recognized the depth of my love, as well as her emotional vulnerability to my words
But she did not speak of loving me too
Her reply was much briefer than my mail
I was torn between hope and fear
Between my unconditional love for her and my emotional needs
And for a couple of days I did not write her back
Waiting for my feelings to settle down
At the time, ironically, I had an anguish
I told myself that I had already written her everything about me
There was nothing else to write her
But I was wrong, wrong
New ideas emerged
And I wrote her another letter surpassing the previous one in length
It was called the symphony of life
And I told her how I was seeing the same musical patterns everywhere
In colors, in vegetation, in clouds
And the music of each element in nature is rich and harmonious, it has a depth, a uniqueness, and yet a unity with all other elements
Whereas modern human cities lack that musicality, they are a combination of few repetitive and boring notes, straight lines, glass and concrete
I told her about how my life beliefs had evolved too, how I had constructed my faith, as she had told me she still found trouble building up hers
And I asked her many, many questions to help her unearthing her past
As her parents had divorced when she was seven year old, and her memories had been wiped off between seven and ten, and she felt a great weight and looming sadness related to that event in her life
And her reply came, and it was much longer than I could have expected
At the end of her letter which was centered on her past and her family, she revealed to me it was the longer letter she had ever written to anyone
She was glad to finally be able to talk to me, to tell me all the things she couldn’t discuss with anyone
For the first time she was opening up
Our written exchanges weren’t anymore constituted of a few cryptic sentences to interpret
She told me about her earlier memories in life, about her parents, her stepparents, her sibling, her relationship with each
And she promised to write me another such letter about her friends and past love interests
And she gave me her address in the Netherlands so I could send her Anam Cara, the book that had appeased me so much
She had told me in the previous letter she always had a fascination with the Celtic culture that acted as a mild nudge on the edge of her consciousness, as with all things that passionate her, and she definitely wanted to read that book
And she asked me some questions in her turn
And I wrote her an equivalent letter where I unearthed many memories of mine, taking a real pleasure in writing it, as I had forgotten many of these things
For the first time in a long time I was waking up eagerly in the morning
I had so much to write, each of my letter was five, ten pages long
And she inspired me a poem, a prayer, about the different persons dwelling in her, the lieutenant that was holding captive the faerie princess
And while running I remembered my dream, this dream with the special girl I had never met
And for the first time I associated her with that vision
I strongly felt it was her, she was the right person, the sensitive and poetic girl I had imagined more than seen
I had been right on not giving up on her despite all her erratic behaviors
And I felt waves of tenderness for her, and a certain feeling of elation of finally having found her truly
Few days later she told me about her friends and her past love interests
In particular the only boy she had truly loved, when she was a teenager
Loving him for three years in a row never daring to declare her flame
She said she was glad to have me as a confident, to lend her a careful ear
As with her friends she generally was the one to listen
That letter of hers offended me
She spoke about herself never saying a word about all what I had told her
At the time I felt she had shut down her emotions while writing it
And I felt anger at her, anger remembering her past behavior, my silent awaiting each time she didn’t reply
I knew my anger was irrational and I tried to contain it
I run and run and run until I was exhausted, and anger passed away
Yet somehow I felt I needed to tell her all what my anger had to say
On second thought, it may be enriching to share what my fierce and egocentric side had to say about you, yesterday night and this morning. A short and violent storm. Deep down, my intentions are really positive, even if it will sound very harsh at first. Don’t take everything at face value.
I am confronting you on your weaker grounds, willfully and basely, but that is not a reason not to read it till the end with courage and open eyes. Let your feelings cry and shout against my unfairness, and then read it another time, carefully.
No, not again! Every single time, we fall back to square one on the scale of friendship. She claims she values my friendship, and she well-knows how much I value hers. Yet she grudgingly skims through what I have thought about during days, and taken long hours to write, weighing word per word. Superficial, that is the word best describing her behavior. Shallow, superficial, inconsiderate. And self-conceited. That is the worse. She lacks self-confidence and faith in herself, but she also lacks the humility to self-question.
All the past remembrance of emotional turmoil resurface, all the nights I did not sleep waiting for a fucking answer add up with my present grieves. How difficult is it to say “no, I don’t want to do this or that…”, giving a polite or a truthful excuse. How coward it is not to answer. How shallow it is to answer halfway.
I was glad to see that she was starting to understand certain things, and strived for change. Yet, nothing seems to have really changed; all empty words, as usual. This shallowness, this dimness of understanding, this lack of consistency, are still here, deafening.
She says she does not have time to write. But this is not only a problem of time (or architecture). This is a problem of approach, of false excuses. What prevents her from taking a notebook, every night, for twenty minutes or so, and write her thoughts and her feelings? Maybe even exploring her past through free writing. But no, that’s too difficult. It demands too much time and energy!
She lacks passion, she lacks ardor, she tames her short-lived enthusiasm with buckets of cold water and insecurities. She is champion in using expressions such as “in due time”, and “soon”, and “hopefully”, and “will”. Music to the ear, in truth. But who is she fooling, but herself? Who is she fooling? If she does not believe what I say, let her read again all the mails we exchanged since last February.
She is convinced to become a great writer (which I believe she will, someday, if she truly awakens). Yet, there is a discrepancy between the way she speaks about her dream, and the texts she writes. When reading her past texts, they are a bit shallow, they are mild, they lack authenticity and force, they lack perseverance. She does not even make the effort of reading them again, of improving them, of understanding why she wrote them. How can she claim to be so keen about her art, and yet always keep herself at such a safety distance from it? How can that be? How? There must therefore be something preventing her from being her better self.
I want to be a strong earthquake under your feet. I want to be the storm uprooting you from your mild inertia. I want to wake up all the atoms of anger that are in your body and put them on fire. I ask you to draw from this fire the humility and the courage to change, one firm step at a time, without compromise. Take your own life in control. Become fully conscious of who you are and what you are doing. Wake up early in the morning, and design your days in a way to have time and energy for reading, writing, thinking and doing sports, in combination with your studies. Stop giving yourself lame excuses. Stop living enclosed in fears. Give a strong kick to the entangled net that is keeping you in place, prisoner. Get rid of all what is separating you from your true self, from your dreams. The past counts, but the present counts more! Every living person has been through some trauma. If you feel it is an unbearable burden, confront it, the soonest. Speak with your parents, with the rest of your family. And free write about it (you know what is free writing, right?). That could be liberating for your emotions to go out, for your memories to crystallize. Cry. Laugh. Get angry. Take the risk to be vulnerable. Accept all the sides of your personality, uncensored. Feel deeply alive, again. Feelings are healthy, and they bring you to a deeper understanding of yourself. They bring you to more wisdom. Gaining in wisdom is the only way to make right choices in the future, and not move from one mistake to another as some do all their life.
When you write to me a complex message, I read it once, usually retaining its emotional tone. Then, later, I read again, once, twice, thrice, until I think I understood every nuance, while engaging my rational mind to save it in my memory. Just like courage, memory and understanding can be slowly trained. A shallow understanding – of yourself and of others – comes from this junk communication culture. For centuries, people wrote long letters, and no one would skim through on the cellphone (yes, I absolutely hate cellphones!). Use your impatience with what is really preventing you from stepping on your dream life path, and not with whom is doing his best to help you.
Now, that’s what I advice you to do with this short letter: read it, and fire back, with all the anger and sense of unfairness and self-pity I have awakened. Yet, keep a part of this energy, preciously, for anger is a catalyst, a fuel of change, of rebellion. Then, read it again, and think about it, in a more rational manner.
This is what true love is supposed to do, I believe: destroy the falsehoods by all means (and unfortunately, we are often more sensitive to strong statements than gentle talks), heal wounds with tenderness, and inspire the other to become his better self.
If you want me to disappear from your life, now and forever – if you feel that I am a troublesome burden -, have the courage to tell me clearly so; and then, you will never hear of me again.
If, instead, you earnestly strive for a reciprocal friendship, and you want to know me better, and you accept my help, then fully engage in this friendship. What matters is not the frequency of mails we exchange but their content and the care we take to entirely understand all what the other is saying.
Remember, I don’t want or expect explanations. And, of course, this mail is an exagerated reaction. It is like the Israelis bombing the Arabs every time they breathe too loudly!
In fact, it is a reaction to the mild lie you have enclosed yourself in all these years, by lack of courage, and need for comfort and stability. It is a reaction to my sense of frustration of seeing you missing your potential, being mildly unhappy about it, and not being fully aware of your blind spots (I only see the manifestation of these blind spots in our relationship, and in your writings, and I can only guess how they gangrene the rest of your life).
The aim of this letter is to confront you, to spark strong emotions, to push you to take full responsibility on your own life, to tear off the veil that is blinding your eyes, to try one of the keys I spoke about in the poem, to offer you a taste of one of my better fuels for change – controlled anger.
Pardon my harshness, my directiveness, and all the assumptions I did. I hope that, someday, you will show me my blind spots (and I trust you to try gentler means before arriving to such extremes!).
I had never been so fierce, so violent, with anyone before
And that wasn’t enough, this anger was continuing to burn up in me
And the next day I added another layer
Don’t repress your negative feelings! Don’t repress your negative thoughts!
Welcome them. Nurture them. Feel them, live them, understand them to the end.
Go to the forest, to the river, to the sea, and walk, and feel, and cry, and let all the anger of the world fill you. Then write about it. Self-torture. Feel them, again and again and again. Don’t run away from yourself. Not anymore.
It must be painful. Tremendously painful. And you must be courageous and truthful and loving with your inner self, the small and precious child that still lives in you, and that will guide you throughout life to your dreams. This small child needs some love and healing.
Feel the anger of a lost childhood. The anger of lost dreams. The anger of society judging you, controlling you, feeding you with false ideas which have rotten your life, and could destroy you entirely with time. The anger of not living true to yourself, and not even knowing who you are.
Try going back to the houses where you have lived in during your childhood. Going to the place could awaken memories. Shake off your routine of life, entirely. Spend more time by yourself (not in front of anime cartoons!!), but in nature, walking, running, dancing, you must feel free as a bird ! We have a very profound tie – as human beings – with mother nature, and you need to rediscover it.
Then live all your emotions, positive and negative. Enjoy them. Self-pity. Welcome them all, as irrational as they might be.
This is the only way to reopen to your past and start healing. This is the only way to acquire some depth, in your life, in your writing.
I have hit you where it is the most painful (and if I could I would do it again and again), because that is the only channel that will reconnect you to your depth, to your memory, to your wounds.
If you don’t reconnect to yourself now, you will spend all your life looking for things you don’t really want.
You will never become a full person. You will never become a real writer. Or if you become one, it will be embarrassingly shallow. You feel that you are failing, again and again and again. And not even be capable of feeling real pain, real shame, because you will be afraid of opening yourself to deep feelings. You will be a spectator of what happens to you, while feeling a mild emptiness somewhere at the edge of your consciousness.
It is hard time to take your own destiny in your own hands! For that, you need to understand who you really are! And that starts with crying and getting angry and accepting of being alone with yourself. That starts by embracing all your feelings that stem from your inner truth.
Enough words now. Courage and pride and acts!
And incredibly, my anger and my harshness helped her
Her next letter which came one full week later was called a long lost connection
But before that, I wrote her again in tenderness
I have shown you my ruthless self last week, that I rarely let out. If you ask me what triggered it, I say: my thirst for the real you. My impatience to hear that you are writing again, prose and poetry; not merely writing – but writing uncontainably, a torrent of words. My eagerness to read every word you write and you are willing to show me. And, well, my jealousy, my jealousy to fully capture your attention.
Now, let me give you a glimpse on another latitude of my soul. The part of me that thanks you silently for existing, day and night. The part of me that is still moved by each one of your statements, each one of your messages, even when they are clouded by a soon, or a due time.
A deep pain filled my chest and poisoned my mind, last Thursday, and I wrote what follows.
The line between self-confidence and arrogance is thin. I don’t anymore know what I have done. All what I know is that I’ve hurt you. I’ve hurt you where it is the most painful, and I can feel this pain everywhere. Every breath I take is a struggle against my wickedness.
I’ve hurt you when I’d have liked to hold you tightly and gently stroke your hair, taking away all the burdens from your heart, healing the wounds of your past, without pronouncing a word, in the silence of tears.
I’ve hurt you when I’d like to give you all the tenderness you did not receive, and bring you back all the airiness and the sense of wonder that life has slowly eroded.
No, it won’t happen. In my restlessness, I must remember that I have no magic wand; things follow their course with the forbearance of seasons, one small, shiny leaf after another. In my passion, I must remember to be humble.
I have thrown vinegar on the flower of friendship that was starting to bloom. I have betrayed your trust. But please, do not withdraw it altogether.
Despite all my shortcomings, my loyalty is boundless. I’d be ready to come by foot to D*****, if you asked for my help. I’d brave mountains and blizzards and death without a second thought.
Meanwhile, I’m still profoundly interested to hear each one of your thought, of your feeling, of your remembrance, both superficial and deep. I ignore which color is your favorite, and what food you like most, and how you occupy your time, and how you filled your days at school time and during vacations, and with which parent did you stay and when, and how you ornamented your room, and what you are dreaming of right now, and what your name evokes to you, and what was the most beautiful time of your life, and what was the worst one, and why empty spaces fascinate you so much… The sad truth is that I still know nothing of you.
In her next letter, a long lost connection, she had gained further assurance in her writing
It was even longer than the previous ones
And she admitted that my anger had helped her admitting to herself she had a problem with emotions
Each time she felt an undesired emotion, sadness, anger, confusedness, she repressed it without trying to understand
And she was surprised how I knew she was afraid of silence, when it was only lately she had realized that
She told me she deeply missed the lush nature of Switzerland and the mountains, she had felt freer than ever there
And she asked me to describe the nature of Lebanon, while listening to the music I had sent her which she loved
But now, right now, with my help she felt she could confront her fears and grow into the person she dreamt of becoming
She was already feeling better, she was slowly retrieving the connection with herself, with nature
She had for the first time since a very long time written poetry spontaneously, while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets of her life
Continue your reading with the next chapter, meeting my twin flame – a physical letter
“A long lost connection” is a drawing where Chantal Peguiron drew the face and I drew the landscape