My dearest Fulgura,
As the red of the pohutukawa flowers gives way to the red of changing leaves, it becomes achingly clear how long it’s been.
Do you remember when we went to the Bahamas? We sat by the water together and told story after story. It was New Year and my birthday and you gave me present after present of sea glass and sand dollars and mermaid’s purses. I carry them in my pocket still and think of you as my fingers toy with them. That was over a year ago now.
So much has happened since then. I’ve spent nearly a year under the long white cloud and I’ve been distracted. The craft breweries and aerial circuses have drawn my attention away from you. I think of you often, as I hike under tree ferns or explore kelpy tide pools, I wish you were there to share it with me.
I can sometimes feel you near me. I wonder on misty nights if you are peeking through my windows. You feel so close. I can picture your wet, mist-laden hair sticking to your face, perfectly framing your Antarctic-nipped cheeks. Do you see me drinking pinot gris and wonder why I don’t invite you in to share some? I wonder why. I imagine you cuddled up next to me, a wine glass in your hand and your lips become looser and looser, knowing you can tell me anything. And I hang on to your every word, holding you close and letting you know how important you are to me.
It’s completely my fault, of course. I’ve taken you for granted, assumed that you would just come when I called. I know we’ve always been close and I just expected it would always be that way. But deep down I know, you are getting frustrated with me. I know that this relationship needs to go both ways. Something needs to change. It’s time for me to take responsibility for this.
In light of that realization, I have some news for you. I am moving to Alaska to be with you. I can picture it already, the two of us cuddled up under northern lights, huddled together in amazement at the impossible cold. With nothing to do but admire the snow and share our stories, we get closer and closer. I capture your words, as they fly into the frozen air and crystallize like snowflakes, each one the delicate fossilization of an idea, a memory, made solid so that we can share it with each other. Venturing out to glaciers on summer days that never end. I can promise you this: in the coming years you will be my focus. I will give you the time and energy and attention you deserve, if you just grant me your company in return.
I want to show you how much you mean to me, and I intend to start today. I’ll wait for you tonight, under our usual starry night. If you feel the inclination, you can slip in beside me. If you feel so inclined, we can catch up. Or we can sit together in silence and relearn what it feels like to be close to each other. And if you don’t feel like it tonight, I’ll be waiting tomorrow night also, and the night after that and the night after that.
In response to revisiting Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on Genius.
Also, creative commons love to Brian @HKG for the photo!