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To you, I wrote

photo by keside anosike

photo by keside anosike

Last week, I found a letter I wrote to an old friend years ago.

We no longer speak in the way that we used to- even though I am not short in believing that our minds still meet somewhere, somehow, through the little big things that surround us. It is more that our present lives have quite simply metamorphosed in ways we have little control over. But there was love, dear friend, there was love that winter evening I wrote to you, love amongst the living hiss of tree branches as they honoured the wind while I wrote, feeling everything yet being so far from you; feeling as though your skin was an extension of mine.

I had called many times on FaceTime so consumed with worry for you. Sometimes I could tell immediately that you had been crying. You face was washed of its color, your eyes hid inside of itself. The world, you told me, seemed an unmanageable mess, filled with squawking babies imitating men who go on to hurt people like you.

Now, I must say that I didn't set out to find this letter (what had I searched for again, in my email boxes and how far back did I scroll only to stumble on this?), that this discovery was accidental yet everything that has happened in my life afterwards has come with an altogether different texture, wheeling me back to this letter. Had I known then, that I was writing this for myself, too?

Any travel to the past has a way of imprinting on the present anyway, of showing itself relevant, somehow, to all the things that have happened, and the things that are happening, and the things that are yet to happen.

A letter to an old friend for my present self.

I wonder: will you write me after you have seen this?

-

To you, I wrote:

I am writing this for you now, so that you can always remember even later: this journey belongs to you.

Your failures, your shame, your successes, your laughs; these are all yours, so do not steal into another's by comparing your life to theirs. Doing this will keep you away from your work- your journey; it will spoil your talent, it will eat away at your life and your sleep and the way you speak to the people you love.

Think of the down days as moonlights. Now a moonlight is not as bright as the fire of the sun, but it will reflect the sun's light back to you whenever you are in a darkness. And even though that brightness won’t warm you, it will remind you that the sun once shone, that the sun journeys to return. That you can come back to yourself.

Allow yourself the grace required in this hurting. Allow yourself the hurt itself- the push and pull of it, allow yourself all the chances to come undone by it. Squander all the pain, do not leave anything. This journey belongs to you. You can come back to yourself. Whatever the nature of the feeling, digest it. Make use of it on this journey that belongs only to you. Pain is not your birthright, it is only passing.

I hope that whenever you weigh your domestic sorrows - all the painful disappointments you have accumulated, your heartbreaks and failed attempts at love - against your own tiny moments of grace and triumphs, that on the balance, it will still be worth being human, worth staying alive, worth falling in love all over again.

I am writing you from my terrace, and it is so quiet, I can hear the hairs on my arm move. It is late. Are you sleeping now? You will, soon. I must stop writing now so it doesn’t seem like I am sure - that you will sleep soon or that you will want to dance again. I am not sure of these things, however deliberate I am in my confessions. I cannot promise you anything because life itself has promised me nothing, but I hope you find healing, I hope you grow; I hope you remain stubborn in choosing life, in choosing love, over and over again. The world can be beautiful. 

KFA