Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Letter I Will Never Send

Dear You,

I dreamt of you again last night. It seems all of this preparation for teaching a college course reminds me of college, and my mind does strange things with it all. I suppose after we were roommates for so long, it's not as easy for the dark gray matter in my head to extricate you. Your face and your voice echo there somehow, even though we have moved in different life paths and haven't spoken in well over three years.

You were the sister I never had. And now you are the one I will never completely understand.

My dream last night was rich in meaning. In it, we were in college again, living in Oakwood Hall, the real Oakwood, not its imposter redux version. We were living in separate rooms, on separate floors, just as we did our junior year of college, although we practically wore the carpet down traveling between those two rooms in that year of 1993. In my dream, I recognized a beautiful tree outside my second-story window, a tree ripe with juicy, red apples. I realized that if I stretched my arm out the window, I could just barely pull the fruit into my waiting fingertips. I ran to the phone and called your room and asked, "Do you like apples?" And you were enthusiastic in your response and I said, "Well, hurry, and come to my room because there are apples, so sweet, just hanging outside waiting for us to eat them." And you said, "I can't. And more than that I won't. There are things I cannot do." And you hung up on me. And I didn't understand why. And I began to cry. And then I walked to the window and reached my arm out as far as I could and gently, a warm apple, fell into my outstretched fingers. And I pulled it toward me, and saw that it was good. And I took a bite.

When I left K., I bit the apple. When I asked for a divorce, I was banished from the Eden of your good graces. You disowned me, wanting nothing more to do with me and my kind. Of course, you finally sent the obligatory note reminding me that you couldn't be supportive, but that you would "hold me in prayer."

Do you have any idea what it means to be abandoned by the one who you thought was your sister? Do you realize how painful it was to recognize that the apple needed to be eaten? That living in Eden sheltered me from the realities of wisdom and truth. Do you see that God still clothes and shelters those of us who eat the fruit? That we are not cut off from God's grace?

Sometimes I miss you. I miss a shared language and a sense of being understood to the core. I miss talking over cups of hot tea and the sharing of hot bread fresh out of the oven.

But mostly, now, I wonder whether that world was just a lie, whether that Eden was just an imaginary place.

May you be well,


Anonymous said...

I know this still hurts. I wish it could be different. Thinking of you...

Congrats on teaching! --snickety

Anonymous said...

I think you should send it. It is beautifully written. Maybe she will see that support of a Friend does not mean that there has to be total agreement in personal decisions. She may need to forgive herself as much as anything. She may be ready to turn the judgment over to God and just love her Friend again. M. in Texas

BookishKnitster said...

thinking of you, my dear sister. i wish for you reconciliation, even though she may never be able to get to that place.

on another note, you must be a wickedly rad prof. when i think about my fem theo class, i remember a mysterious time in my life - curiousity, beauty, the search for answers. how amazing it would be to have you as the guide in that search...

see-through faith said...

This hurt!

And I love you that you can express it -even if just here - to be able to say what what done was wrong, and your loss was real. Saying that is not to withhold forgiveness, but to say that you hope that what had been before had been real.

Like Erin I hope that reconcilliation could come - but it may not be possible and that is ok. Even though it hurts.

I feel your pain. I wanted you to know that

Contemplative Chaplain said...

Thank you all for your kindnesses. I wonder, sometimes, if this is a wound that may never heal itself. It is helpful to be able to speak of it in a safe space.