Category: Personal Letters


A Hope to Kiss Again

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 1.32.50 AMMy Dearest K.

I shelter myself upon this island. It’s nearly midnight in Eastsound, but I find myself bathing in the moonlight of your eyes. I trace you with my soul. I kiss you with my heart. And a horde of words cannot fill the vastness that lay before us. Even from Missouri, I touch you. You are here and the cosmos shutters upon your beauty.

Your absence trembles my timepiece and in the early morning fog, you breathe through God’s solstice and for a moment I can caress your body – but for only a moment. You are life itself. I found love in your hands, the taste of Christ in your month and comfortably I lay in your arms.

No matter where the wind gales, I seek you. I will preserve by all God’s glory a hope to kiss thy lips once again and quench this dearth thirst.

With Love …

Happy Valentine’s Day

0Dear Ms. K:

Four years have passed and I still find your love strengthens my heart. Many days vivid dreams carry me from work. There in the quiet room of our hearts we embrace and bathe in love … a fulfillment of all this world could offer.

There is no judgment when one’s love comes of the soul of the heart. Sitting in solitude of this winter day, I meditate in quiet moments of the past and feel the vibration of unconditional love. I long for the tearful moments that slid upon our cheeks. We lost our hearts at first sight and we became soul-entwined. We sought refuge in each other, a hidden room to which only we could enter, only we could find. Haunted by these moments, memory holds you gingerly.

For some happiness is a career, for others there’s passion. And for me, life’s prayer is to find you again, to find the key of my soul.  You enriched my life and grace cracked open the granite surrounding my heart. I am forever in your debt, a guest who’s privileged to have experienced your radiance, your lips, the beauty of thine hair, the firestorm of love from a single touch. My heart sank into your soul and forevermore I have been lost.

Your spirit was Christ’s beatitude, a formless, unknown penetrating love that spun throughout my soul and beautifully refined everything within. Thine love is the most forceful, potent and powerful connection ever felt. Part of me ran while another wanted you to completely desolate my spirit, swallow my love and absorb all I offer. Artiste, I am your sculpture.

My dearest Valentine, know you are always near. You surpass any emotion ever felt. Paraphrasing F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I slipped briskly into your intimacy … from which I never recovered.”

Happy Valentine’s Day My Love.

never-let-me-go-3I remember “Erich Fromm’s” quote from The Art of Loving:”

To have faith requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life cannot have faith; whoever shuts himself off in a system of defense, where distance and possession are his means of security, makes himself a prisoner. To be loved, and to love, need courage, the courage to judge certain values as of ultimate concern – and to take the jump and to stake everything on these values.”

During these past few days a feeling of awe crept over me. My memory worked with powerful commonplace. Everything appeared before me.  Pages of history recall like artifacts found at an archeological dig.  I heard every voice, every laugh, every tear, every moment.

Even when I sleep, my thoughts linger to that whom I love. So I ask, “Can love persist otherwise without sacrifice? Can we live and invent and breathe each other without demanding everything? Could I be comforted knowing that one is not mine and I’m not entirely another’s?”

Strange, what is faith in love? Can God sustain my love? Can God’s faith in us, overcome us; that is our fears, our dreams and society’s pressure?  Can we look at our love and be set afire? Is there one with whom eternity sits in your arms, an encompassing glory of life at the core, of living, of breathing, of exhaling? Can you find that soul, in its dark night, where we felt captivated by love, by God’s love, Buddha’s love or that of our soulmate? Have you been discovered? Have you been called?

To all, how do you radiate unconquerable faith of love while anguishing from the loss of spiritual consolation? Even as a Buddhist, I often notice feelings of doubt, loneliness, and abandonment. Yet God dwells in that inaccessible light, and searingly, all images and ideas of Christ are washed by a “cloud of the unknown.”

William of St. Thierry counted on love to make good of the deficiencies of our feeble intellect. William said:

Love itself is understanding. But love is not to be confused with mere feelings. Feelings burn out too easily; they can be manipulated or seduced. The love by which we see God must be an act of the will rather than a passing affection of the heart.”

Look upon your love. See God in him or her. See that presence, purifying the soul of all passions and hindrances, preparing for the inconceivable blessedness of divine union. Of laying in love, of caressing, of kissing, of holding and nurturing the soul.

Saint John said: “Oh, night more lovely than the dawn, Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!

I remember the movie Elena Undone for this one quote, “In love, one and one are … one. Seldom do we get to experience the art in love.

My love … join me? Let me experience your art?

Go experience art.

Giving Thanks

Dear Ms. K:

As the waves of the Atlantic rolled in upon Ocean Beach, MD, I served Thanksgiving Dinner to that in need.  Orcas Island, WA, or St. Louis, for that matter seemed liked a million miles away. Here, in the lonely area we served meals, the rich and poor found equal footing – each family, each individual life was washed away Sandy’s relentless waves.

Sipping coffee under the hue of candles as they struggled against the light breeze, I saw something phenomenal. Friends and families gathered, hugged their children, clung to each other’s heat and enjoyed the simply moment of just being together. For better or for worse, they shared thanks, they laughed, cried, played football in the setting sun.

In truth, they were all tremendously richer than I. Whether they understood or not, the clung to the love of their life and refused to surrender. Almost as if they spit into the wind of adversity and carried each other, embraced life and found renewal in one another. At that very moment, I understood Christ’s words:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

The foundation was never a rock. The rock was love. He hath love that which is given and received in Christ has found the ‘rock’ of life. This ‘rock’ will carry one another into every bit of living and every bit of grace. Why did it take me so long to understand this? Why did I not see this before? Why have I been so arrogant?

Someone once said, “…the real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.”  Whatever friendships were built, I seemed to destroy, and they stagnated or died. It’s amazing to learn how much of my individuality was wrapped in my professional life.  But here, this weekend, I learned that when all the distractions are gone, I can be a terrific person.

So for this Thanksgiving, so far from home, I give thanks. As it is written in 1Thessalonians 5:18; “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I give thanks to Christ, for keeping you near. You are with me always.

Dear S. G.:

Believe it or not, I started this letter almost ten days ago. And since then, its contents, language and message changed quite considerably. As I look through the years I see someone who’s been blessed, tossed and lost. At one time or another, we’ve all experienced extremely difficult times and trials. You’ve been blessed, sailed the world, visited twenty-six different countries and are considered a survivor, not because of know-how and ingenuity, but because of grace and love.

All in all, being successful has little to with your portfolio or the size of one’s home. Success is largely dependent upon learning to live by aligning your personal beliefs with professional beliefs. Thus, I leave you with three major lessons from which to learn.

Lesson #1: If you find something or someone worth the fight, fight hard. Don’t end this life from a position of fear. Don’t allow failure to defeat you. Don’t live in regrets. Live knowing you gave it your all; that you put yourself on the line more than being afraid. Do not allow fear to conquer you.

If you need an example, take the parable of the rich man:

As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one–God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not give false testimony,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.'”

He said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.” Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.”

But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.

The rich man did everything right. He lived the ‘Ten Commandments.’ Still, he could not sacrifice the one thing that separated him from true love. Imagine how difficult that must be – to give of yourself completely for another?

You and your true love lived this lesson. While loving each other deeply, each of you could not give unto each other completely. Some would say our inability to completely surrender to other was ordained, as if God smacked us for our love: between a then married man and an unmarried woman. Rather than finding our strength in God, each of you gave fear … the fear of others, rumors, innuendo, snickers. I wonder of the beauty of our life if we lived in unison, conquering our fear and giving up that one thing we held onto.

Lesson #2: Align yourself to the vision you want to live. Assess yourself. Take an inventory of your life. What’s the vision? Are you living that vision? Do you live in fear or in love? Do you remain true to your values. Find the one thing you’re committed to and align that commitment to your works. Stay well and live life.

What happens most is what a participant in one of the poet David Whyte’s seminars poignantly described: “Ten years ago I turned my head for a moment and it became my life.” This woman understood she had not taken advantage of the fact that life is emergent. One step leads to the next. An authentic life is like going up a darkened staircase. The third step is visible only after we step from the first to the second step. When we insist on being able to see the third step from the first step, we become paralyzed and fossilized.

Keep your vision aligned and you will rarely walk darkened stairs.

Lesson #3: It’s never too late to live a constructive life. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to live a constructive life.

I recently had the opportunity to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” I, who am nearing life’s end, was uplifted by a strong, courageous voice exclaiming it’s never too late to change your life.

It’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be.

There’s no time limit.

Start whenever you want.

You can change or stay the same.

There are no rules to this thing.

We can make the best or the worst of it.

I hope you make the best of it.

I hope you see things that startle you.

I hope you feel things you never felt before.

I hope you meet people who have a different point of view.

I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start it all over again.

To My Coworkers:

There are many who walked a similar path before me … but few, if any, who walked my path.  But nothing of who I am today would have occurred without you.

To this day, each of you has had a wonderfully profound hand in my success. Yes, we parted under duress; as if life’s almighty vice had clamped down upon our individual carbon atoms, endlessly crushed, formed and solidified by the often furious times swirling around us.

In one way or another, I managed to create a covalent network with each of you.  Tim, you were my greatest mentor, a person whose thought and caree as both a boss and friend was greatly appreciated. Your insight to management and personnel was inspiring as well as holistic. Like mighty warriors, we rallied our teams, inspired each other to greater good and the fought fights worth the fight.

Katherine, you were a good friend. One who’d listen, laugh and learn. I have not forgotten – probably never shall forget your impressive beauty and honesty. Both Tim and I hoped for a happy ending of our employer. True to form, some days were tremendously long as we rallied to fight for a better educational system. But in the end I failed. And I failed you. But God knows best and now even these three years past, I am overjoyed to learn you completed your Doctorate and proudly manage a department of your own. You provide inestimable service to students near to you.

And to Ms. K., no written words can adequately express my deep, deep love. Both Christ and I know how great you are. If there is any one person who taught me about faith it would be you. Over the past three years, your spirit and wisdom has taught me to be continually in communion. Thus, through you, I discovered a call to the community. Certainly no one could possibly state my discernment process has been easy, but you acknowledged I am part of a greater family. And as I shredded my past, I move from communion to ministry.

Lastly, to the Los Angeles Doctors Hospital in East Los Angeles. If the ‘war on poverty’ has several battle lines, then one can be found right here, at the Los Angeles Doctors Hospital in East Los Angeles. Far away from the modern state of the art technology of elite hospitals, there lay an older bed hospital, encased in an unkempt exterior whose interior walls appear to have been painted approximately nine hundred times.

Walking through these doors, visitors are greeted first by the stagnant musty air, rickety old stained seating, a fish tank with no fish, and magazines from a year or so prior. While these professionals mostly likely vote, each seemingly has forgone the politics, the money and talking points of daily sooth-Sayers from Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others. The decisions made by state, federal and county politicians hold little weight here. In truth, the Los Angeles Doctors Hospital of East Los Angeles is a blend of contrasts, to many they are an outpost on the fringe of humanity and an oasis to the surrounding community.

The owners and staff have chosen to rise above the circumstances. They do not wallow in their lacking, they do not whine. Regardless of the obstacle, they strive toward what they can do. And what they can do is amazing. While it cannot be argued that Christ has overcome death, these professionals are Christ-like. They cheat death daily and celebrate life in every moment. These people are the true good ‘Samaritans’. They love what they do and make me ashamed of my owe personal failings. I am totally in awe.

Still, I know my past with each of you has been difficult. And certainly, while I can hardly be forgiven for the person I was, I can only request your prayers.  We lived great highs and tremendous lows. We suffered in bitter agony and extreme joy. While I know many do not believe in the divine, I continually work earnestly in the light given unto us, that one day, we will once again gather near, raise our glasses and salud.

Dear Ms. K:

I leaned against the fourth floor window, my breath rhythmically drawing and echoing against the cold damp pane. Snowflakes from winter’s last gasp adorned the scarf of warmth and the remnants of footprints hurried away.  No kiss, no longing touch, no long emotional grasp. Neither mustered the courage of ancient crusaders to reverse the deathly hallow of that which God so eloquently filled.

In truth, the path of one’s footprints reveals the soul’s weight. And there in the vestibule’s diminishing light, you stepped away from my world. Years later, my soul remains scorched in the reciprocal misery needlessly suffered. Halted by time, halted in the limbo of love, I’m emotionally destitute; caught between god and the golden calf, sandwiched between heaven and hell. And for nary a day have I been free. My actions gained nothing more, but am every bit less.

An honorable man would have channeled a forgotten warrior, pounded the breastplate of battle and summoned love’s eternal flame. He would have fought ego to the death. You were the fight worth fighting. Only in the solitude of Obstruction Pass did I find truth: you were the divine, my only divine. Yes Ms. K., you were the ordinal perfection of my life. Had I only lay upon my sword, garnered God’s truth and beseeched thee for forgiveness. But alas, none did I.

You deserved someone who can love you right where you are. You deserve to be where love builds upon another versus burning from the raging fire within. Yes we loved, yes our embers flared and yes the flames of passion danced, but did our souls ever agree? Were we both able to share and nurture in love’s boldness, its courage and compassion? In the depth of night, the wee hours of darkness where the heart beats mercilessly echoes and the soul longs, did you feel the ache? Does the soul yearn? Does it push or pull? Do you quest while I crave?

Maybe we were predestined: two wayfaring souls pulled like forcible tides into one another, momentarily spared of the crash by the laws of love, the law of Christ. Truly our transcendence meant little to the surrounding world, remaining anonymous among men. But our internal volcanoes blasted past primordial domes and we soothed one another in quenching love.

Still, years have passed, my love smolders. I lay waste by obscurity, with a heartache none should bear. I am splinted, a broken yoke without its whole. Pain runs deep and my harbor remains vastly silent. Darkness snuffs light and no longer do I bathe in grace. I wish the years away, to be a child in thine arms, ever amazed at heaven’s splendor.

Here in the dessert. I thirst. I hunger. I pray, lying prostrate to the almighty, hosts of hosts. I seek His guidance, the cryptex’s password, to your love, to grace and promise to never recklessly misplace your love.

I love thee Ms. K. Will you forgive? Can I come home?

To my greatest love, whose life inspires and comforts me alaways.

_______________________________________________

Dear Ms. K.:

In all the years I have been alive, I’ve never been so immersed in living. The very thought of you has kept me alive for nearly three years. Though often wandering alone; and though I swim in a school of humanity, I remain forever yours, in your depthless love and life bearing water. You reside in the bosom of my soul, where I return often, dwell and accept the nectar of thy lips.

Some admittedly exclaim my foolishness – seeking that which cannot recompense. Still under the moon’s luminosity, I wander the damp sand of Cascade Lake. Here in the solitude, we spiritually walk, hoping always the dusk or early morning dew does not erase this old man’s memory of all you’ve brought.

Every breath bears my soul. My inhale is thy exhale and thy body is sweet and fulfilling. Thy kiss, thy caress; thy heart is wealth more than Solomon.

Memory lapses, for standing before God I utter nothing more than you. Is it too much to ask, to nibble upon your lips and feast in thy sanctuary, to gorge on the scent of your body and crave consumption by love’s eternal flame? Ah … dear, you’re my passion, my poetry, the very words of life. And to lie gently, in morning rain, sipping upon thy skin is eternal, quenching and whole before God.

My love … I remain my true and pray we will forever be connected; in stars, in heaven and in time forevermore.

Come my love … Tarry an hour. Tarry a lifetime. Lay with me.

Write Four Letters

Several weeks ago, I watched the final challenge of Top Chef Masters. In essence, the challenge was for each chef to bare their depth of their own personal humanity (i.e., bear their sole) on a plate, that is each Chef had to write four letters and translate them into a four-course meal. The first course was a love letter; second course, an apology letter; third course, a thank-you letter, and fourth course, a letter to themselves. It was a tremendous challenge, highly emotional.

Being that I am past the half-way mark of a one year blog myself, am in a medical situation myself and having read the personal tribute Actress Lynn Chen’s wrote of her father on The Actor’s Diet, I felt propelled by the Top Chef Masters episode … but in a new way.

My idea is this, what if we all literally wrote the same four letters? What if we sat down and write something extremely deep, bearing our soul for all? Could we do it? Would we do it? Think about it, when was the last time any one of us wrote a letter? Emails, text messages and voice overs don’t count. This is a real letter, one made by hand, written from deep thought, each word, with meaning and heart? Unless one has been in some interpersonal skills class, I am willing to bet most have never done that before.

In truth, I have no clue where I am going with this. But more so, for some unknown reason, I feel compelled to do this. Thus, I am giving my permission to bear my soul to all the world and see what happens.

I guess hope that whether or your personal letters are taken somewhere, to someone or mailed to yourself, is simply not for me to know. But even though I will post these four letters online, I will seal each in an envelope for mailing or reading at some later date. When this blog ends, someone, or even me can rediscover my true feelings somewhere down the road.

I will try for my first letter tomorrow: Love.

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