October 17, 2017

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It has been quite awhile since I last wrote, and then, it was very sombre. You see, Steve is drastically overworked and under pressure, with his mother becoming exponentially more difficult to care for, and dozens and dozens of his past-life newspaper articles to type and digitally preserve. I am prompting him as to how to pace himself, for his health's sake--but there is little time for channeling.

Steve now has a much better idea of how we first got together...it is quite funny, actually, in a way. I was so young, that he thought of me as a child--the younger sister of his friend, my older brother. I began tutoring him, because he very much wanted a classical education, and I was thinking I might become a teacher someday (since I certainly wasn't going to marry any of the "dandies" of my own class, that my father occasionally introduced me to!). So my brother's friend became my first pupil, and, dears, I fell in love with him. I was an old soul in a teenager's body. So, as near as Steve can tell, I wrote a poem about soul-mate marriage, and submitted it, anonymously, to the monthly Boston magazine that Matt had begun writing book reviews, and other things, for.

Here is where it gets funny...somehow, the editor's own initials got appended to that poem. I'm not giving Steve an idea of how that could have happened, now; but we know that the editor attempted to claim a number of my poems, and Mathew's poems, many years later, publishing them in a book along with some of his own. That's how Steve traced back to this 1832 magazine. So there is my poem, and Matt reads it, thinking it was written by the editor. Now, that editor, and Mathew, were both avowed bachelors--so this poem was sort of being a traitor to the cause of bachelorism. Does that make sense? This is something Steve didn't understand until just now. Matt felt duty-bound to pan it, mischievously, because they were both supposed to belong to the brotherhood of avowed bachelors; and here, the editor was praising marriage!!! So Matt "lit into it" and logically tore it apart, point-by-point.

Well, he submitted it to the magazine, and then he showed it to me. But he had not only attacked my own poem, he had sarcastically rejected my anonymous paean to marriage--practically a proposal! Well, I cried, which was hardly what he expected. You know that a man cannot bear a woman's crying, but these were not manipulative tears, I was crushed!

You can imagine there was a long, long discussion, and everything came out. Understand that Matt knew I had a crush on him, but he didn't take it seriously. He humored me, and this was partly to protect himself, because he didn't trust love (having been hurt by the town flirt), and because he knew I was from a higher social class, and didn't think I would ever seriously consider marrying him. I knew this, you see, and this is why I wrote a poem about spiritual marriage--marriage based on soul-connection, which doesn't care about social class.

So we had this very long heart-to-heart talk, and everything came spilling out, and he felt truly awful about having criticized my poem so sharply. I wanted to show him, as quickly and as strongly as possible, that I was not a little girl; but that I was an intelligent, accomplished, mature young woman, who was quite his equal. My knowledge of the classics, which I had gained through private tutoring, wasn't enough. This poem about marriage, which was quite competent, was clearly impressing him, but still, he had criticized it. So I knew what to do. I would play for him. I was a good pianist; I knew he had a very sensitive nature, and would be deeply affected by my playing, if only I could play especially well. Everything was riding on that performance! There was more pressure than any concert pianist ever felt at his or her debut!!!

So I played Handel, "The Great Jehovah is Our Awful Theme"; I played my heart out, I played with every ounce of skill I had gathered in all my years of practice--and Matt was tranfixed. He knew my heart, then. He knew we were kindred spirits; he knew he wanted to marry me.

Now, Steve is doing his best, here. The actual order of these things may be off--he is just writing what he knows, being very, very tired, and trying to get the impressions from me as he writes. But you get the idea. Steve knows from one of Mathew's poems, published in his New York paper some months later, that during that summer, Matt did the same as I had done. Meaning, I had poured all my love into a song, giving the best of my native talents for the purpose; well, one night, sitting alone with him at the base of a gigantic chesnut tree (our favorite tree--our friend, as trees can be friends, and this one was mine since my childhood), he told me a story. Story-telling was his forte; and he put his whole soul into it; a story that told his whole heart, toward me.

I have, Steve thinks, shared these poems with you before, so we will not repeat them, here. Well, if you think that some of Mathew's written stories, for the public, are clever, or beautiful, or moving, you have not been told one by him directly, privately, for your own ear and your own heart. Just as he was very deeply moved by my music, I was just as deeply moved by his story--because, you see, he was a New England farmer who kept his feelings very much to himself. All you would know is that he was cracking jokes, and puns. You would not know his heart, unless he let you very close. So with this story, Matt was letting me into his heart--and do you know what I found, there? More than I ever hoped, or dreamed. As much in love with him as I was, I would have been happy if he liked me, and would be faithful to me. But oh, no. I was his very breath, his very soul--he thought of me when he awoke (in the story), and he thought of me when he closed his eyes at night. Every girl reminded him of me; everything beautiful in nature reminded him of my beauty. This is what the story was about--a boy separated from a girl, and everything in Nature reminds him of her. I am telling Steve this now--he didn't remember it. He only has a description, in the poem he wrote about this night, that he did tell me a romantic story, and that I was deeply affected, but not what was in the story.

Well, Steve's cat must "sing" after she completes her meal, and then Steve must yell down to her, sounding as commanding and forceful as he can (bluffing), to stop, and as tired as he is, this breaks the flow of channeling for tonight. Let us stop, here. We continued with a deep, chaste love--me at age 15, he at 19--until the following spring, when I was the magic age, 16, and he was 20. Then I seduced him :-). Oh, that sounds terrible, doesn't it? I offered myself to him, and he was so taken with my beauty, which I had shared with no-one else, that he was powerless to refuse. He was so much a gentleman that he aquiesced not to risk pregnancy, and in all other respects, I was his. And Steve thinks we got caught, and separated, and all of that is another story, which he only has bits and pieces of hints about, in various poems and stories. And then we eloped when I was 20, and he was 24, and that is another chapter in the story. But that night under the chesnut; the pure love we had, when I expressed all my love with my music, and he expressed all his love with his storytelling, and we gave each other our best...

Couples don't know how to court, anymore. We Victorians could teach you a thing or two :-).

Love to each and all,
Abby