A Love Letter to the Page
I realized today that you have been my dearest friend. Come now! Don’t protest! It’s true.
While I am blessed to have a few close friends, many lovely, caring acquaintances, and family members who attempt to accept, if not completely understand me, you have been the constant in my life.
As a child and teenager, I could always count on you to take me away. I found solace in your silence. You didn’t preach or lecture. You didn’t tell me I was too young to feel the way I did or remind me to be grateful for what I had on those occasions when I just WASN’T. You were the guardian of my inner-most thoughts, the keeper of every secret. With you, I didn’t have to worry that I would seem stupid or that you would belittle my often melodramatic (but no less real or powerful) thoughts and dreams.
Throughout my life, when I have needed to say something difficult and been too cowardly to express my feelings aloud, you have ferried my words with grace. You’ve given me the time to find just the right way to say even the most painful things – a gift to both myself and the recipient of the words in question. You have allowed me to express the deep and abiding love for those in my life for whom my feelings are so tremendous, so overwhelming, that I would surely commit the worst of all sins – crying in front of someone – should I be forced to speak them aloud (like that time I tried to talk to the video camera on Kenneth’s first birthday).
You have been a shield behind which I could hide, a platform for changing my life and the lives of others. You have sheltered me from the batterings of the world by giving me a place to focus my complicated mind and a repository for the many, many stories that clutter it on a daily basis. You have reminded me, time and time again, what matters. What I need to be truly fulfilled and at peace. It is always a pleasant surprise to remember how small are those needs – my family, a hot cup of tea, and you.
You have provided me with a way to support my family. A way that allows me to drive my children to school, to pick them up when they are ill, to be here when they get home. When I sit with Rebekah and have tea after school, listening to her talk about her day, it’s because of you. When I pick Andrew up from track and get a rare moment of openness, it’s because of you. When I see Caroline saunter up to the car in her army jacket, full of stories only a fifth grader could tell, it’s because of you. When I talk with Kenneth about music and life while we sit in a darkened theater every Friday morning, it’s because of you.
You have given me the gift of contact with many wonderful people. People who are compassionate and intelligent and insightful and enthusiastic about life. Then, there are the many imaginary characters and places that will be a part of me forever. Every story, every character, every town, house, flowering tree that inhabits the stories of my life, is a part of who I am. They enrich my life, and I have you to thank for them, too. It’s a blessing to meet talented writers from every corner of the globe, to read their work with wonder and to realize with excitement that I still have so much to learn. That, too, is because of you.
You are the best friend anyone could every ask for. You stand silent and without judgment, accepting me without condition. When I consign my feelings to you, I don’t need to apologize for being human. For feeling jealous or angry or sad or selfish or weak or tired or apathetic or bitter or petty or small.
Best of all, no matter how difficult things get, no matter how complicated, you are always waiting at the end of the day.
And somehow, that makes everything okay.