Category: Personal Letters


This letter was written during a moment of doubt.

Like many, my friend struggled with achievement on occasion. Or, as the question was often phrased, “Do I do enough?” The crux of the concern was ‘achievement‘ –  how one defines it and how hard it is for a female to achieve anything recognizable in the business world.

Throughout the years, I recall all of those key mentors who just happened to appear in my life, as required. Still, reflecting back through the years, one key mentor after another passed on, as had many other heroes in my life. Skiver, Vogel, Navarro, Huff, Robinson and so many others. Gone. From their eyes, each expected more of me than what was seen. Each gave their best, freely admitted to my worst, often put me in my place, then rehabilitated me, and forgave for things I either said, did or did not do.

Still, my lover was also a wonderful mentor. After all these years apart, she remains unforgotten.

If she had read this letter, she would have learned a little of smidgen of Buddhist philosophy. The chief lesson being that life has taught that there’s a significant difference between well-known and known well.  To say someone is well-known merely places an external label connoting some level of notoriety.  This could be attached to someone popular, maybe well-skilled at something, or just notable for something that draws the attention of many. Known well, however, is a whole other story.

Read on.


My Dear Friend:

Over the years, almost all look upon our mentors in awe. Yet, for many, achieving one’s pinnacle is filled with exhaustion and, at times, desperation. In truth, you’ve wondered whether you’ve made a difference, gave something back to the community you’ve long served.

In truth, you’ve delivered more than most ever expected.  And regardless of the darker days of self-doubt, you’ve pushed harder than others. Passion for those whom you’ve led flows through your veins.

Of course, times of momentary fear, the fear of losing control, the fear of losing commitment and the fear of rejection has crossed your path. As such, we too, have had our ups and downs. Still, I thank you for all the moments we’ve been together. Because of you I gathered the courage to open my soul, to find the strength to get involved for the community members, to join action for that which is important to the next generation. I learned to stand up, for to have stood up and get shouted down is far better than never having stood at all.

Your biggest achievement? Me. You have instructed well. You have brought the very presence of spirituality to my life. I know God has touched your soul in many special ways, in ways that you are able to deliver His presence to others. I know this to be true, because I have experienced every time we’ve talked.

As you taught, genuine relationships involve being well-known and known well.  Quality relationships with colleagues, friends, customers and business associates go beyond what just being well-known can bring. Yet, you taught me the spiritual – the desire to find common ground for personal, professional, and maybe even a deeper level of connection with others. Thus, the lesson? Seek to know others well and allow yourself to become known well.

Thank you for all of the important lessons you taught me. Thank you for loving me, even when I failed. Most of all, thank you for being the female mentor I always needed.

The following is the second of two love letters.

The ending verse contains the word ‘Shringara’ (rapturous intimacy). I found Shringara thumbing through some ancient Sanskrit on a rainy afternoon at the National Library of Ireland. I remembered the word then on.

It has been said that Shringara Rasa can simply be translated as erotic love, romantic love or attraction or beauty. There are other levels used to describe love, but none can match it in its scope and variety. It is erotic love or passionate love and has been traced to the pleasure of love. The term literally means to decorate, or engage in a love talk. The playful exchanges between lovers or spouses, all evoke Shringara.

From a Buddhist perspective, all lovers must evoke Shringara.


My Dear Friend:

As we dined today, your eyes, lips and love smoothed the soul and nurtured my spirit. We kissed and felt the power of love between us, as if we could fend off anything unforgiving. Your caress sped my heart and I trembled in awe. I sleep in you, and just maybe, you sleep in me.

My eyes hold their breath. Shall we turn back? Should we? Shall we move ahead? Should we? I know, that if we ever lose this moment, I will etch your eyes. Thus, we I will find you again, and again. Like always, where ever we run, there will begin. There will always be another journey. There will always be another embrace.

Tonight, we can be what God has meant us to be. Somewhere close, the warmth of your breath smolders, your aroma. Ah. Your aroma. Passion. Death. Love Rekindled. Resurrection.

Restless, I dream. Dipping my fingers unto thy heart. There is no wilderness, no mountain, no horizon that can set our sun. We shall sit, waiting for the moon. Waiting for another resurrection. Our resurrection. Come find me. And I will find you.

In vain, the moon tries to paint your face. It fails to catch your grace. Can the caress your ecstasy? Can it kiss thy fruit? Shall it feel the heat of your skin, to taste mammilla, to taste the garden? I quiver. You are a forest of love … a forest of my life.

You are my Shringara.

Love LetterThis is the first of two love letters. You may already discern that many of my letters were ought-right expressions of love. Yet, there are firsts in one’s life that aren’t meant to be forgotten.

As such, there was this natural anticipation to write such a letter. I hadn’t read this letter since sealing it years ago. Now, I read it again. Once the message starts to sink into your heart, I wish this letter had been read, then answered.

So why the “Love” Letter? If there is a Buddhist message, it would be the following:

Love is not something we can hold in our hands. It’s more than an emotion we hold in our hearts. Love willingly gives part of ourselves to one another. I’ve experienced them, both in heart and soul. I tend to liken these as gifts to God, to love and myself; it helps me understand my love for God.

In truth, for many of us, its been a lifetime since we have told others how much they are loved. And so, to all my readers, I want you to know you are loved.


My Dear Friend:

We are separated by time and distance. Yet even in upstate Michigan, the stars are no match for thy beauty. I wish to be swallowed by your aurora. The prospect of living another day without your voice brings me no pleasure.

I there are few promises in this world. Maybe before the divine bids me adieu, I will know thy touch once more. Hypnotize me by your breath. Engulf me in your love, by the fire. Course through my soul and brand my soul in love.

Of all the dreams, I believe only them of you to be most true. Yet, each dream unfolds another truth of the serene, a gift from a hidden heaven. I can feel you in my arms. I can confess my soul’s longing. You are perfect. Majestic.

When I am lost, I fast. In your fragrance, I am intoxicated. The bed you sleep upon is blessed. The rain that bathes you is holy. For I have seen within thy bejeweled eyes. Come walk in the garden by moonlight. Stir me by day, satisfy me in the dark on the river. Rest softly and sweetly in my arms … forevermore.

This is the second of two letters themed, ‘Because of You.’

I did not write these letters because for any special request. Nor were these letters intended as prayer. I wasn’t asking for her to intervene or restore peace, to end a crisis, to heal something, or make any specific dream come true. In fact, after reading the ‘Because of You‘ letters, I simply wrote these two letters for the biggest, most significant, and most important thing – affirmation for someone I deeply loved.

Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” As such, my goal simple – affirming a partner’s life, goal and love is extremely vital. And unless you take time to affirm that love and self-worth, we can program ourselves with negative statements – thereby making the negative true.

While celebrating Thanksgiving, remember actions done by body, speech or mind should be done after careful reflection. As Buddhists would note, a spoon of salt in a lake goes virtually unnoticed. Yet a spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.

Remember to affirm one another.


If I could share anything share anything, it would be that honesty, purity and selflessness are essential pillars of true love.

You and I have searched longingly for our true purpose. It appears we are different from most. Like you, I continue to work so that others may benefit. As such, if love is the footprint of Christ, then you are Christ’s representative. You are God’s love to others.

You worry about being acceptable – acceptable to others and to God. Fear not, for because of you, I have recorded your deeds in the annals of time. You are made perfect. And I will attest to your beauty, even to the sacrifice of mine. I promise to proclaim, to God, everything about you. Because of you, the world, and I, have been privileged. The look of satisfaction and accomplishment when assisting is your testament. I am forever proud. I know God is as well.

Our faith and love will be our journey. We will always love each other and will be forever intrinsically connected. You are an addictive force. Oh. Draw me near. Even the beat of your heart doesn’t squelch the yearn. I need to swim in the coals of your bosom. For only when bathing in the springs  of thy heart can this never ceasing thirst be quenched. Only of you and in you, do I experience a satisfaction nothing else provides. You are my water. In you doth my cup run full.

Because of you, I no longer do as I wish. I am free only when imprisoned to you. The love you sprinkle grows in the soil of brokenness. I am reborn. Alive. You are the light for my darkness. To live in the ‘spirit,’ with your ‘spirit’ is grace undeserved. You are my rock, my living stone. You perfect my imperfect.

Thank you for showing me agape love and radical forgiveness. Thank you for teaching that intimacy is the sacred that can be shared. Thank you for showing me grace, even as I was, and am, unworthy.

In 2012, I wrote two letters surrounding the theme titled, ‘Because of You.’ There are many in this world that we owe a great deal of gratitude, whose legacy remains unfulfilled. In fact, Alan Turing once said:

Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”

When I now read this 2012 letter, I think of Joan Clarke’s quote from the movie The Imitation Game.

Do you know, this morning I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn’t for you. I read up, on my work, a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. Now, if you wish you could have been normal… I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren’t.

In essence, I wrote this letter to my love during a very difficult time in her life, where she questioned herself and her value. Thus, this letter is the first of two. It’s for those who think they are alone, unworthy, or ripped apart.


My Dear Friend:

Upon entering a Pomona, California church for some quiet prayer, I became a witness to a Bible study group reading Mathew 10:34.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send [or bring] peace, but a sword.”

After reading, the leader stated, “Relationships will be ripped apart, but life in Christ will be found.” I found this to be a harsh example of living Christlike. Since 2010, my walk has focused on finding the kingdom of peace within all. And that same very kingdom within us is also outside us.

In all my walks, I’ve never found Christ to be ripping people at the seams. Sadly, I’ve only seen people rip each other at the seams.

Therefore, just as Christ is unique, so are you. You are divinely created. You are divinely loved. Therefore, the same power of agape love is equally available to both you and I. And likewise, we nourish each other just as much as we nourish God, just as much as God nourishes us.

Because of you, I can do something more than show up. Because of you, I live in dignity, filled with purpose and love. Because of you, I no longer ask God for permission to be in His company, for you are God in love and peace. Because of you I’m not afraid to be me, to be the person I was always meant to be. Because of you, I no longer doubt.

Love is understanding. It’s not a physical transformation, it’s an inner transformation. You are the water in my life. Your love is my water. You always find a way, always. It doesn’t matter if the solution is immediately visible to you or not, God finds a way – just as water — it may cut through, circumvent,

This letter was a blessing to reread. Originally written on a winter’s night at Mark Twain Lake, located in Ralls and Monroe County, Missouri. I was amazed at the level of interconnection – just how present I was in the moment.

In general, there are two different views of how we perceive the world. The first view is that all beings exist independently, that the world is a collection of independent beings. The second world view is that all beings exist in relation to other beings. From a wider view, we can see our connection to others.

Buddhism views that everything in the world is interconnected. We are not only connected to other people, but to the air through our breathing and to the universe through light. As such, I misunderstood how deeply ‘present‘ I was in the moment and how deeply connected I was to Mark Twain Lake, God, Christ, spirit, eternal love, spiritual lust, the body, sparrows, oak ledges, midnight, tolling bells, the wine, wind, my thoughts, her breath, her eyes and love.

It’s a shame we never see these connections in real life. Had we, how so much more beautiful could our world could be?

And now, this letter is connected to the world, for all to read.

Enjoy.


My Dear Friend:

I sit upon the shores of Mark Twain Lake as the bells toll midnight. The wine nips my lips and I etch out this letter, breathing life from my soul. And I extend this missive in place of my heart, hoping, that as I write, you are well.

I notice something simple, odd really. Tree Sparrows have taken amusement of my existence. Pecking and hobbling among the oak ledges adjacent to my room, the distant lights appear like decorating ornaments of life’s backdrop. Having the need to escape for at least a night, I find myself briefly playing our own home movie, the rumble of bygone days laid to rest. A newer love of life surges. No, my dear love, for my eyes gaze southwesterly toward you and align to thy heart.

You have often worked for the beauty and benefit of others. Our lives are not our own. I am bound to you, as you are bound to me. We are bound to others, bound to our past, our present, in kindness and in love. We are interconnected. The crux of our stories touches all we’ve met.

Yet, as I constantly travel, I wonder how to carry all the love you’ve given. More so, I wonder to thirst for you in life, in death, and in life evermore. I cannot think of a more powerful way to honor either Christ or God. Loving you us a fulfillment of heavenly vision, a divine interconnection. And it is in our connection, that the ‘spirit’ comes and rejoices.

Should the Tree Sparrow be willing to tarry a message, it would be simple. This pottery is kiln fired. I am stronger the marrow stands firm against the wind.  And my heart longs to inhale the inner fire and dance in the peace of your heavenly blue eyes.

The wind briefly rattles! What say ye wind? What? “Folly or fool?” Oh, dare ye foolish wind! I am overwhelmed with beauty, I am bewildered by spiritual sweetness, this weary mind turns for refreshment as a dusty traveler might sink onto a soft grassy bank. Wherever this refreshment goes, even if it is for only a moment, I am blessed to have known its caress. Your love is my gift; your love will be my treasure.

Maybe our time is a brief rest, but also, maybe these moments remind us of the power of eternal love – that we are loved – that we can be loved. Regardless, I am encircled by your breath and I entrust our spiritual lust will draw near, in whatever way possible and to the way that’s right.

Second ChoiceMy Dear Friend:

The Bible inspires the following thought: where your treasure is, so shall your heart be. Sad to say, much of my life has been lived in ‘second’ place, with sputters of third and fourth interwoven.  I was personally confronted by my weakness this afternoon at a Manhattan restaurant.

“What are your priorities?” asked one woman to another.

“Family, school, work, the future, other,” replied the second.

“And your husband?”

“Oh. He’s lumped in-between ‘Family’ and ‘Other.'”

Just like this woman’s husband, I’ve lived a life of second. For several decades, someone else’s opinion of who I should be and what I should become became my life’s plan. I willingly swallowed a life of inequality. Of course, there were a few moments of bliss where I found myself. Other priority swallowed whatever had planted.

Be earnest” you claim. “Be devoted. Risk yourself.” And late at night, as I wrote, “Be bold when faced with a blank sheet. Befriend it. Mold it.”

Ah, my love, you’ve set me free. And now, I can see whether near or far, our priorities intertwine. I forward with hope. You’ve pierced my soul. Awoken the embers of an ancient flame. And like an Olympian, I shall carry this torch unto the finish line of thy heart. You are my divine. You are my peace. You’ve melted the ice. The sky is anew.

You are my inexplicable love.

Have you learn’d lessons only of those who admired you, and
were tender with you, and stood aside for you?

Have you not learn’d great lessons from those who reject you,
and brace themselves against you? or who treat you with
contempt, or dispute the passage with you?

~Walt Whitman~

The above poem, Stronger Lessons was part of a manuscript titled, “Sands at Seventy.” “Sands at Seventy” was the title of a collection of poems that first appeared in November Boughs (1888) and was later included as an “annex” to the final printings of Leaves of Grass. Stronger Lessons is one of my favorite poems. I hadn’t thought of this poem for some time and was reminded after hearing an audio interview clip with Monica Lewinsky having discussing her receipt of Leaves of Grass.

Like Lewinsky, and the better part of all, I wrote eighteen letters to an unrequited love several years ago. Each letter was returned, rejected outright. Till this day, I have no reason why I kept the letters. I have neither opened nor read any until today.

Lwenski reminded me of her and my letters. In their own way, both Lewinsky and this unrequited love are both strong, kind, and confident. There are many questions, but not once have I received an answer. For some time, I wanted answers because maybe they would help. But realizing that on any given day, I may not wake. From that perspective alone, I am not a long-term candidate for lasting love. In the end, she might have chosen security. All I have are these letters.

Today, I decided to share all eighteen letters. I will open one letter each day and share them with you. Originally, each letter was handwritten. Each had a theme. Some are short. Others are long. Names and locations will be changed, as required. Hopefully, in some way, one letter or one sentence will assist one of you hurting or hoping to build a bridge or simply move forward. Maybe this holiday season, you’ll be able to reach that one unrequited love.


My Dear Love:

I recently conversed with a fellow traveler to en route to Arizona. This fellow teetered back and forth about leaving one position for another – that somehow leaving the current position would ‘right the wrongs’ within his personal life.

I concurred with two points: there is such a thing as quality of life and his wasn’t.

Therein lay the problem. Looking at almost everyone met, single or couple alike, almost none have found a way to align all the pieces and compromises. Sacrifices litter the roads traveled and mountains climbed.

But the thing I’ve most admired about you is your unceasing thoughts of love and laughter. They are a profound gift that has lifted me past darker days. You have constantly created a life worth remembering – a life worth repeating – a life better than most.

My heart is full for you, pulls for you and lives for your adventures and your love.

 

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.

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