We present herein the second of the planned monthly love letters. This letter has been slightly delayed due to the hubbub of end-of-school-year and holiday activities. And so, without further ado, Herself speaks:
Today I am thinking about this past year. More so than ever before, it seems, the year has been filled with trials and tribulations, worries and concerns, missteps and failed attempts and starting-overs. At the same time, interspersed within the hard parts, there have also been joys; we have also had hopes and goals that have been dreamed and achieved.
Throughout it all, you have been my companion, my motivation, and my shelter. You have listened to me when I am unable to let things go, and you have forgiven me my moments even when you do not understand. You have provided me many opportunities -- sometimes intentionally, sometimes not -- to improve as a person, and have forced me to look within and to understand myself, you, and other people better.
Thank you for helping me to be the person I am today, for allowing me the space and the time to grow into myself, and for growing alongside me. We will get there someday. Where "there" is, I do not yet know, but as long as we are journeying together, that is all that matters.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?" And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
- Kahlil Gibran
Santa Claus has brought Herself her very own wand. She had suspected it - the scent of the wood varnish, barely detectable through the tissue paper of the wrappings, provided her that clue. She was hesitant to believe it, though, because that would have been too good to be true. And yet, it was.
It is rare that Herself is unable to communicate her thoughts and feelings; much more commonly, she uses an excess of words. This time, though, she is silent, both in voice and in writing. She carries her wand about the house with her as she does her chores, and it makes her inexpressibly happy.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
~ Norman Vincent Peale
Herself received a lovely book from her pea-in-a-pod friend. It is Herself's favorite kind of book, with witty aphorisms and complex words. One of the quotes, marked thoughtfully by her friend, sums up quite nicely how Herself feels about this friend:
It is so rare in this world to meet a trustworthy person who truly wants to help you, and finding such a person can make you feel warm and safe, even if you are in the middle of a windy valley high up in the mountains.
- Lemony Snicket
We extend our love and all the blessings of the season to this wonderful woman, who has enriched Herself's life so very much. Thank you.
Found a great blog: zenemu.com. It has well-written entries that help explain the point of view of an individual with Aspergers. The topics are varied and include, for example, discussions on vulnerability, on relationships, and on pain perception.
When she was in her mid-thirties, Herself expressed a desire for a guitar, and a lovely instrument was obtained for her. She began teaching herself to play it, slowly. Oh, so slowly. One day, a string broke, and the guitar was put aside for the moment; and the moment somehow turned into several years. Alas.
Several weeks ago, Herself mentioned to her Beloved that for Christmas, she would like to have her guitar re-strung. Much to her delight and surprise, he took it upon himself to fetch out the guitar from the closet and arrange for the re-stringing. It is back home now, ready to be played. She must begin all over again, for she has forgotten the small amount that she once knew. We are both looking forward to the effort, though.
Another excellent desert excursion with Herself's Beloved and her cherished friend yesterday. This time, Percha Box, in southern New Mexico. Hiking. A cave. Fascinating rocks. Not another soul. Blissful quiet. She is quite delighted by these adventures.
Oh, the last week of school before winter break, so filled with to-ing and fro-ing. I have only barely caught up with myself. At last all of the Offspring are home, relaxing and enjoying a few moments of sloth. Relief, coupled with anticipation of Christmas - it's a happy sort of feeling.
Herself was feeling slightly out of sorts yesterday; it was one of those occasions when she could see the beginnings of a dark cloud on the horizon. Her Beloved has had several pressing work projects and has been working very long hours, and she has missed his company. All the irritations and frustrations that she usually manages to keep at bay have been looming larger of late. Her cup was half empty.
And then, a few brief e-mail exchanges with two of her local friends dispelled the gloom. To know that they have thought of her and taken the time to write a message, whether profound or inconsequential, to share something with her, warms her heart and makes her smile. Her friends are a cool drink in the dry desert.
On this, the twelvth anniversary of Offspring the third's arrival into this world, we rejoice. His kindness, his wisdom beyond his years, and his tender heart are a blessing to all whom he meets. It is bittersweet, sweeing him evolve into the young man he is today. Where has all the time gone?
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Herself is a trifle on the morbid side at times. While she fully intends to be here on this planet well into old age, she tries to plan ahead for all contingencies to ensure that life is as smooth and care-free as possible for those about whom she cares. In line with this train of thought, Herself periodically reminds her Beloved that if she should meet an untimely demise, he should in due course find a new wife.
It’s actually quite important to her that he knows he has her blessing to do so. She knows what he is like: how hard he works; how much he relies on her for so many of life’s necessities, including care of the children, maintenance of the household, and much more; and how much he needs a warm heart to listen to him, to laugh with him, and to scratch his head on occasion. It pains her to think of him without the consolation of a companion.
All that she asks is that he find someone who cares deeply for the Offspring, and for him. She does not want him to be held captive by her memory or feel any continuing obligation towards her. She hopes only that she is remembered fondly, and that the memory of her inspires those whom she has loved to reach out and love others. She says:
We are putting up the Christmas tree. Remarkably and mercifully, this effort has not generated any of the gnashing of teeth or squabbling as it has in years past. The lights are on, the tinsel garland has been arranged, and the musical bears (loved by Offspring the third, although they set Herself's teeth on edge) have been installed amidst multiple reminders that permission must be gained before turning them on.
I have found Herself's very first ornament. The angel is missing one wing, but she still happily rides her green sleigh with her presents. A red thread helps to display her on the tree. She will be high up in the safety of the unreachable branches, and will gaze down upon us all.
Alas, my stalwart readers, computer difficulties have rendered posting relatively sparse. My heartfelt apologies. There has been much gnashing of teeth, attempts at repair/reboot/re-something which has led to nothing more than remorse for having purchased the wretched machine from a company that shall not be named, but whose name rhymes with Hell. Appropriate, no?
Never fear, hope is on the horizon. Bear with us as we resolve and conquer!
NinjaHead resides with a muffin-baking woman known herein as Herself. Herself has a Beloved Husband, with whom she shares three nearly-grown Offspring. When she is not writing Things, Herself nurtures a visceral fondness for small furry creatures. The household menagerie, which has varied in size and composition over the years, presently contains a minuscule middle aged chihuahua and a most mild-mannered senior chihuahua. Someday, there will be more critters, for she loves them tremendously.