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Terreson Profile
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An old love letter


I dug up an old love letter from a couple of decades plus ago. I could demure and say I found it in this box of memories as rich as it is sometimes scary. But no. The search was deliberate. Letter has kept in the back of my head. I know it has almost been as long since I last read it because I had imperfectly remembered it. I remembered a plea, a cry, a woman frightened by love. But now I see I've confounded the memory with another. One night she sat straight up in bed and, with a fright, said: Please don't steal me from myself! Opportunist that I am I've used that cry twice. Once in a short story and again in the novel posted here.

Her name was T. We met in a rhythm and blues roadhouse. She didn't drink as I recall. She was there because of the music and because it was a place sailors frequented when in town. T was a master sailor. She was networking. We were a local item for exactly 2 weeks. Then she got the offer to sail out on a schooner, down to the islands. But there was more. She was recently divorced. The Ex had made enough money to keep her comfortable but, in the end, the trade off had proved too much for her. I've always been of two minds about a certain type of woman, the one who trades off her body and soul for a measure of security. The story is age old. Women have had little choice but to make the trade. On the other hand, none of the principal women in my early life and formative years ever did. They went the hard way even when it meant the hard choices. While I can be sympathetic and understanding, it is difficult for me to respect this type. I think what did in my case with T. was simply economic. I did not make enough money to allow her that precious measure of security. I say this because, while I never saw her after those two weeks, some years later I got the report she had again married wealthy. Twice they say makes a pattern.

I'm posting her letter because of its sheer eloquence. Over the years I've noticed how a woman in love can become just that. I suppose the posting can be construed as unseemly. To which I would respond that poetry should always be unseemly and uncouched, not meant for children or polite society. T's letter is poetry. Viewed otherwise and the poet is as much a contributor to falseness as is a priest or politician. T's letter is written on stationary. I copy it out exactly how she wrote it. Reads like a poem:

~V - I must tell you of this evening.

The water pouring over me did not wash
you from me
You remained.
A light sleep, and you were in my dreams.
A trance that removed myself -
Found you there,
Sitting quietly in my place.
I hovered, watching you circling -
pondering your presence.
And I hear my words -
Man, leave this place - go
Man - I say the word in disbelief.
For no man has ever entered here.
But you do not go.
You are quiet and you silence me.
You are stroking my body now with
silken hands.
A trance within a trance - I cannot
move.
My spirit refuses to rejoin that body.
But there is no fear.
I am seeing a man -
Cleansing a body taken without joy
by another.
Erasing the trails of greed left by
one without concern.
I feel the traces of your lips moving
over the scars.
And I see the outline of each softening.
I am safely away and I am not
concerned -
As I watch my body lifting - taking
you within.
Surrendering, only, wanting to be taken.
It is just the body and it is
being healed.
You have entered my depths now -
And I am awed by what I see.
Your body became the shaft and
disappeared within me.
There it is - there is the ecstasy I
feel -
It is you - reaching my center
Taking refuge in the warmth of
woman.
And I am calm.
A man has entered my soul - our
souls - and there was no harm.
You are welcome here -

And I love you -

T. ~

So god damn hard for me to encourage and nurture poets and writers and, especially, wordsmiths who proceed, thinking words come first, the raw of the moment second. Words do not come first. Every poet and every writer who operates in this fashion is a bloody liar. T. was no poet but there is poetry here. T. might have gone back to living a life of untruth. Most of us do. But she had a moment when, in her small space, heaven and earth touched. That, only that, is what I seek out in poetry.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/23/2013, 7:38 pm
Mar/23/2013, 7:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: An old love letter


Hey Tere,

I can see why you like and remember the love letter. It does read like a poem, intimate and honest without being self-conscious or ostentatious.

I wonder if what T wanted was security or enough money to take off sailing whenever she desired? Maybe she wanted money not for security but for the luxuries it can buy. Perhaps sailing was her passion, the thing she would sacrifice anything to do.

The desire for security during childbearing years is hardwired into the female of the species. In the past, security meant finding a mate who could bring home dinner and drive off other males and predators. Security nowadays usually means financial security, i.e., finding a mate who can bring home dinner, provide a stable place to live and keep creditors at bay.

I'm not trying to refute anything you've said. These are just some thoughts that came to mind when I read this field note.
Mar/25/2013, 12:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: An old love letter


Kat, I didn't post to bring attention to a certain consideration of economics. I posted because I've kept struck by the letter itself. By the expansive moment in which T. found herself at some point in the two week span of time we were together. She had a moment in which, again, heaven and earth touched toes for her. The interstice. Being an old man, and a cheerful evictee from the garden of love, I can say I've known many Ts. Not when they are young. But in their middle age and older. Psychologically speaking, an interesting circumstance. Also, and I keep to this, T got duende in that moment of hers. The kind most poets do not come to, since, too self-consciously concerned with craft.

Tere
Mar/28/2013, 7:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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