Wednesday, January 12, 2011
A Romantic Love Letter written by King Henry IV of France (1553-1610) to Gabrielle d’Estres.
Romantic love letter written June 16, 1593 the night before a major battle.
I have waited patiently for one whole day without news of you; I have been counting the time and that’s what it must be. But a second day I can see no reason for it, unless my servants have grown lazy or been captured by the enemy, for I dare not put the blame on you, my beautiful angel: I am too confident of your affection–which is certainly due to me, for my love was never greater, nor my desire more urgent; that is why I repeat this refrain in all my letters: come, come, come, my dear love.
Honor with your presence the man who, if only he were free, would go a thousand miles to throw himself at your feet and never move from there. As for what is happening here, we have drained the water from the moat, but our cannons are not going to be in place until Friday when, God willing, I will dine in town.
When I am bemoaning my state of "I hate when you are gone" he will say to me, "Carrie you have no concept of time at all." or "Let's rearrange the Myan calendar to add another day at your whim." or even "You defeat the purpose of us spending a moment together if you will storm off in anger." There is nothing reasonable about missing someone when they are gone and you hold them so dear to your heart, nothing reasonable at all. Love will turn the most understanding person to a pouting child and even a serial phone slammer. So when I found this letter of Henry's I thought, you see the world really does live as a romantic lives in the unreasonable state of there has to be something wrong with the world when you are gone. There was a Starbucks Ad over the Christmas season, notes written on their cups and one of them read "Our friends found us to be the strangest of couples. We only find it strange when we are apart." This I loved.
I gave you socks and gloves because I wanted your feet and hands warm
not because I didn't think you were capable of keeping them warm
but because I wanted it not to be something you thought about
I wanted your head open to think of things not so tangible
especially in the winter
The winter is glittering for a reason, it is the season of thinking
of things bigger than we are
it's the time to make Valentines
to write poetry of nothing ordinary
even though the ordinary can be very enchanting
if you dont believe me watch an icicle melt
to understand that while the living breathing world is fast asleep
under the cold layer of ice
that there is a piece of us quite alive and waiting and even planning
the same way I plan when I walk by the winter garden and picture violets living there
that tiny part of us that understands that like anything
even like love
this too shall pass and it's a reckoning we seek
the epiphany to explain all suffering of the world
summed up in a lyrical phrase
to minimize pain, a whisper of "this too shall pass"
and if I were to take that sort of direction from anyone
wouldn't that someone be you?
So I will care to the little things, the insignificant,
the "I know how you take your coffee"
and "you shouldn't miss this appointment"
if only to give your head the space to dream of things
no one else can conjure
to nurture the soul that feeds mine
to give you the energy to change the world
as Ive watched you do, your loudest silent cheerleader
to remind you who you are
if nowhere else than in my eyes
floating above the earth, clean
doing the right thing when the right thing seems impossible
like Armstrong's wife cheering his footprint
she knowing that all men want to leave their mark
wringing her hands together wondering what sometimes possesses him
wouldn't he rather be with her at the opera?
of course not
no man would rather be doing something you've suggested he do
perhaps he will agree to disagree and in there
lies the hope of change
if only for a brief moment in the middle of winter
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
When we are whispering in low tones
my lover and and I
and the world has faded
spinning the way the world just does
and close to me are his sweet bones
I am compelled to kiss him
take him in my mouth
and kiss him some more
as Shelley's waves crash the shore
That's what lovers do
hours spent kissing
wanting that time to be connected
to his lips
to fall into him
to steal the breath from his lovely mouth
to taste him to smell him like summer
because he smells like summer
for my lips to know the respite of his
those soft lips that speak all day
a thousand words,
that hum in the shower
it is his mouth after all to do as he pleases
until he's a foot away
and then those lips are mine
That's the promise of lovers
to steal a kiss at any moment
to lean in and just expect their comfort
that lovely wetness
the sweet curve of passion's embrace
letting me love you the way I like to love you
the way I need to love
and in that moment you see
do you see?
that I am free
You pull me to the lofty place
where time moves quickly
where your shoulder is an anchor
and my heart lives in your pocket
where there are noises outside the door
we dare not open
"Can you stay for just a few more minutes?"
I will ask of him as I often do
how could one deny such a request?
and when he presses his lips to mine
his whisper speaks of "will this do?"
We have approached the season of kissing, the season the bossy republican calls, "Carrie's favorite thing." He will tease me that this holiday is like Christmas, my birthday and the fourth of July all rolled into one. It is the holiday of the romantic notions that float around in my head and land usually somewhere interesting. I had a greeting card business once and Best Friend and I would spend endless hours making Valentines, covered in glitter, listening to Carly Simon songs.
I don't think I will ever tire of my fascination with little hearts cut from paper that are made to look like lace, or the idea that someone would save a Valentine forever and ever and yes, ever. I know I have been in love for awhile now and I still get caught in it's romantic trappings, i.e. forever thine, forever mine, forever ours. How could anyone not fall in love with someone who wrote that to them?
" Good morning, on July 7
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
You see Beethoven didn't just write great music, he wrote of love. He wrote three love letters similar all during a three day stretch and never indicated who they were written for. Lovers share such secrets in quiet whispers when they are sure they are alone. I know I do. I am planning a Valentine or two, are you?