a letter


I’ve thought about what you said almost every day since you wrote it: “Let your love for him convict you of how much you don’t love other people.”

When I first read that, I wasn’t all that convicted. While I was DOING a lot of loving things for Wesley, I wasn’t feeling that much love for him all that often. But I’m the sort that has to earn a feeling. And these days, when I cup that little face, stroke those little cheeks, watch those little eyes look out a window, hear that little giggle, press into that warm little embrace… these days my emotions are swept up like a tiny speck of dust caught in a hurricane.

In this case, six months is a nonsense measurement. It measures something mathematical that is entirely mystical. And I’m no mystic, as you know.


One thing I love about your friendship, is that while I’m tempted to write you some simple factual updates about my circumstances and histories, I’m much more drawn to write you some simple factual updates about my soul. If only these were the kinds of annual letters sent out this time of year. I’d read those.

So now that I’ve touched on that whirlwind romance that is motherhood, I’ll share about the other piece. The ugly not loving other people thing.

I’ve been reading about how I need to be less cynical in conflict. I was considering writing “with people” after “conflict” but I’m not sure it’s necessary. So I guess I’m saying I just need to be less cynical, since every day I’m in conflict. I wish had some way to tie that thought to a pithy advent quote but it’s just a plain thought unfortunately. I’m waiting to be made less cynical. I’d like to love people better by storing up hope for them. I have more hope stored for Wesley than I could fit into all the pockets of all the coats I’ve ever seen.


(From Black Rook in Rainy Weather by Sylvia Plath)

Of whatever angel may choose to flare

Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook

Ordering its black feathers can so shine

As to seize my senses, haul

My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear

Of total neutrality. With luck,

Trekking stubborn through this season

Of fatigue, I shall

Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur,

If you care to call those spasmodic

Tricks of radiance miracles.

The wait's begun again, The long wait for the angel.

For that rare, random descent.