December 15, 2017
I had told Steve that something from our past would be coming his way. Just now, looking through his "saved searches" on Ebay, he noticed something new (i.e., old)--"La Fontaine's Fables," translated by Mathew's friend, Elizur Wright, and published two years after my death, in 1841.* Steve has no proof of this whatsoever--except that fables, including La Fontaine's fables and characters--keep showing up in Mathew's published works throughout his life--and Steve knows that Mathew kept on embedding bits and pieces of our marriage into his writing, for many years.
Steve has long felt that I tried to teach him French with these fables; and there is a mention, in one of Mathew's travelogues from 1851, that he at least knew a little French, just enough to attempt conversation. Oh, Steve, let's reproduce that account, okay? Take the time to do it (Steve, like Mathew, can be lazy...)
It was the French I had taught him, that he was able to draw upon in this situation. He didn't have much aptitude for language, and what little he had wasn't put to good use, as he was admiring me most of the time. He did love the fables, but he was beginning to love me, more! This is when I had to firmly but gently admonish him, "Please pay more attention to the lesson, and less to the teacher." But I was secretly pleased, of course.
After I died, Mathew had these materials of ours, you see, things we had worked on, together. They were so painful--and Mathew had embraced ancient Greek Stoic philosophy so completely--that he endeavored to give them all away. This is how our joint manuscript, "A Christmas Carol," got into the hands of Charles Dickens, when Dickens visited Boston in February, 1842. This is also how "La Fontaine's Fables" happened to be translated, and published, by Elizur Wright. Because our translations, Mathew's class assignments, were already there. They only needed some tweaking-up. But Mathew wanted Wright to cite himself as the translator.
So that 1843 edition just showed up on Ebay, and Steve, checking in with me, bought it. Not that he can afford it, now. But he has been feeling this for some time; it was there; and he bought it. Once he has it in his hands, and we begin reading them, together (Steve will read them aloud to me--dears, try to read aloud to your loved on on the other side--we love it!)--then he will start to remember which were our favorites, just as he did with our sheet music, which he also purchased.
But there is one important point. This is not nostalgia, this is us picking up where we left off. Nostalgia--and the pain which comes up with it--will naturally be there. But Steve must move past that to enjoying it, once again, with me in the present. What did Mathew always wish, most fervently, deep in his heart? To merge with me. And I, with him, likewise. We tried and tried physically--each thrust and counter-thrust, all the holding and embracing, all the wet kisses, were for the purpose of merging. But you can't do it. The bodies remain separate, and they are proxies of the soul, after all. Not the actual person inside.
But now we can have real merging, actual person to actual person, mind and spirit. It is difficult to learn, at first, like riding a bicycle. But don't you have the motivation? Those of you, I mean, currently in this type of relationship? Isn't it worth the persistent effort? And what could be more fun? Try. Even a little of this bliss, of soul-union, far exceeds anything achieved by sex, in the body. Try. You will get to a point where you can share what you shared before--but this time, at the level of direct mind-to-mind, and direct heart-to-heart.
It will sound crazy, like fantasy, to those not ready for it. That is fine, and as it should be. But to those of you who can hear...
Oh, in case you are wondering, this is my Christmas present to Steve. He doesn't have to give me a present--him taking me seriously--taking that terrifying leap into the unknown, on faith that I am real and our relationship is real, almost eight years ago, now--is present enough, for me.
Love to each and all,
*The first edition was published in 1842, which would have been the year that Mathew might have been giving away things that were his and Abby's.--S