Love letters I wrote.
Perhaps the greatest dilemma a writer faces is on when a story should be written down. Sure, you may come across a great story every now and then. But you don’t know of when you should put it down somewhere. Is it when the story has begun to take shape? Or is it when the story looks a bit more interesting when illuminated under the experiences of the author? Or is it when it has become totally unbearable to hold on to the story?
This might be the question that Garbriel Garzia Marquez was trying to find in this book one hundred years of solitude. It talks about a story that escapes the author through her ears. Once outside, it hides inside a shoes and then goes to places. If the author is looking at her work as her children, wouldn’t she be concerned about the fate of her stories? If you ask me, I think this is where authors diverge. Some seem to not care about her work as soon as it has left her. Some are grossly obsessed, rewriting their work again and again for years. Where to stand is a conscious choice. But as I am writing this, I am thinking in terms of love letters.
What about the love letters that we have written, that exist somewhere as a memoir of an affair that doesn’t exist anymore? I am particularly concerned because I have written a fair amount of love letters. I don’t feel threatened, for I still very well trust the fine ladies to whom I have addressed them. Moreover, these letters should remind them of the kind of fine creatures they were before they found me and realised how much darkness resided inside them. It was then that they would leave me for good. I will never blame them for what they did with their lives by taking it as far away from me as possible. But I am really concerned about the letters I wrote to them. Letters dipped in my heart’s blood. Letters that bared me like nothing else did. Letters in which flowed a part of myself that I wouldn’t know to have existed.
So that’s why we write love letters.
Love letters means or do nothing if they don’t cry pain that would otherwise be left unseen. It is not about what you write, but what you have left unwritten. If there is one pretentious element in the letters written, it would scream it. There is no bigger disgrace than a love letter written to impress. Love letters impress nothing, but the indelible ink of sorrow that they carry. A love letter is a lonely cry to the dark cold universe that is bereft of love. It is an extension of a soul unrequited, condemned to the eternal darkness of rejection even if it is exchanged between people still very much in love. But more than the fancy words, love letters are always about that visceral pain that can be felt only by the loneliest. The ones bitten by the unkind bug of love, the ones broken by the words of a beloved. Those who cannot escape the cycle of self-destruction, of how love has manifested in their lives. Of a love that has never saved them, but took them from lows to the lowest.
Love letters are simple beings with a simple life of their own. But what makes them complicated is the nature of love, which is vicious and vitriolic in itself. The failure of love to be straightforward comes from the inability of (wo)mankind to properly express herself. This is not a failure of language, I can assure you. It is a failure of self, an inability to be true to oneself.
So in the letters I wrote to Tara, I elaborately searched for myself. In a desperate attempt to find myself, I bared much of it, which would have never come to light otherwise. They were the most truthful testimony to the darkest alleys of my soul to have ever existed. I hope she burn them, and I don’t! I wish, I get to read them again, for I will know a bit better about myself. I want to write them again, But it is entirely out of the question to recreate those situations under which I wrote them. Can I drink the mead of Tara’s love again? Can I be tormented by the anxieties of a forlorn attempt to make her stay? Can I be lying in a bed with my head on Tara’s lap as she makes the decision of leaving me to try and fix her broken relationship with Fareed?
I am not sure. I know that I will never write those letters again, I will never know enough about myself. I hope she burn those letters because nobody else will.
Now you see the point of love letters, don’t you? It is about the truth that it carries, so it lives on even if the love has dried up, the ink has started to blur and the paper slowly disintegrate itself in the river of time.
Love letters are not about love at all, it is about something else. It is about that speck of truth that we have nurtured into ourselves even as the civilisation tries to wither it down.
No doubt, I want to die before the world’s last love letter is written down.