Saturday, April 11, 2009

A letter I won't send: It's tragic that you deprived yourself of all this...

because, when all is said and done, it all boils down to this: truly, you could not take the risk. (You could not eat the peach.) You preferred the familiar sadness, the moral "correctness" of staying in name only in a marriage from which you continually seek to escape, whether through moving halfway across the world or through your several emotional or sexual affairs. It's sad, too, because you were so completely safe with me. But you were afraid. It must have been terrifying, to have all you said you dreamed of right in front of you, for the taking.

This is my family. One of my little granddaughters wears a dress and bonnet made for me in 1961 by my mother; the other wears my leopard heels. My own younger child, out of frame, takes the photograph, and I play the accordion.

The younger of my granddaughters is singing a song, à la Piaf, while accompanied by two melodicas, an accordion, and her sister on one of your minor key harmonicas. Our eight-year-old chanteuse composed her song on the spot. It's about an ended romance. It's about all the things that were sent back in boxes. The last words of her song are, "He's just a little man." She's brilliant, and her lyrics come from a deep, authentic, healthy place. We're a tribe of adherents to a philosophy of radical honesty, you see. We inhabit your Paradise Lost. And we rag-tag gypsies WILL BE HAPPY. We seek, and find JOY on a daily basis.

You've lost not only me, but all this. A tribe of women and girls will now wear what once were your clothes, your ties, your sock garters, your watch, your rings. They will play your harmonicas.

It's a tragedy. You, as my beloved, had earned the right to partake of this magical, nomadic feast, to enter a world of radical truthfulness to which you'll never, ever again be offered an invitation. My people were all standing by ready to welcome you as my chosen one, my beloved. It is a world of great beauty -- unimaginable, in fact, to outsiders -- and I am sorry that you will not be part of it. It might have filled some of that abyss inside you. It might have helped heal some of your terrible wounds.

It's on nights like these that I'll remember you most often and be a little sad. Not because I miss you and you are lost to me. But because of all you yourself deprive yourself of and have lost. Tu es perdu à nous et tout est perdu à toi. But the red wine will flow, we will make the music and I will sing and dance. Because, unlike you, I am always passionately committed to being fully IN LIFE.

Ultimately, that's why our relationship could not work out: I am committed to being fully in life and you most probably have chosen to turn your back on all these joys and spend much of your time in darkness. I'm not angry at you for rejecting ME. I'm angry that you reject life, and joy. What a waste. What ingratitude to life for all its riches.

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