11/06/2006

letters

I heard on the radio news today about a man who found a bag washed up on the East Coast, I think Jersey Shore, that had 300 letters addressed to God inside. Have you ever written a letter to God? How about Santa Claus? Someone you thought wasn't listening when you spoke out loud? Someone you couldn't talk to so writing your thoughts seemed easier, safer? You know what? I've written letters to all of the above.

When I was 6 I wrote a letter to Santa Claus because my parents told me to and I was shocked when I actually got a letter back post marked 'the North Pole.' When I was 9 I wrote another letter to Santa Claus not because my parents said to but because none of the kids I went to school with believed in Santa anymore. I was devastated and I needed some clarification, clarification I never received but being the optimist I was I held out on the notion of Santa Claus another two years.

When I was 12 I wrote a letter to God asking him why he had not listened to my desperate pleas to keep my parents together. Every single night since I was 4 I got down on my knees before going to sleep and prayed that God would keep my family together. When I was 12 it was obvious he didn't listen because my parents divorced. I wrote a letter to Him letting him know how disappointed I was that he was too busy to answer one small prayer from one small little girl. Even at 12 I could be quite dramatic.

When I 14 I wrote a letter to my father reminding him of the numerous times I'd tried to tell him that I loved him regardless of his addiction and begging him to love me enough to change. I guess I thought that writing the word 'alcoholic' on paper would make him realize, he actually was one. He read that letter and he cried - but he didn't change.

When I was 16 I wrote a letter to the love of my life, or at least I thought he was, telling him how hurt I was that he took my virginity, my love, my heart, and left it by the roadside as he peeled out of my drive-way. I wrote the letter because I was too scared of telling him in person, too scared he'd leave me - which is what he did anyway. I still remember that my hands were shaking as I slipped that note through the vent on his locker and how he never even acknowledged that he'd read it. Maybe he never did.

I'm older now but I must admit I still tend to write letters instead of verbal communication. Maybe it's because I feel that I have too much to say, too many feelings that no spoken word could convey. Maybe I'm still that scared kid who thinks no one listens, at least not the way I want them to. I write in my journal every night. I write to God asking him to protect my children. I write to my husband asking him to be more patient, more understanding. I write to my father asking the same old questions that were never answered and probably never will be. I write to myself - to sort out my thoughts, to remember that it's still ok to feel things even if the rest of the world can't feel them with you.

Those letters to God that someone found washed up on a seashore, I have to wonder what they were hoping for. Maybe all they needed was to write what they could not speak in the hopes that someone might actually listen. I wonder if anyone did.

7 Comments:

  1. Christine said...
    yeah, seems to me that having feelings even if no one else has them or knows them---they are still feelings and its good to write them out if they can't be spoken
    Chuck said...
    C.S. Lewis once wrote that he prayed not because it changed his circumstances but because it changed him. I think the same holds true of letters and any other medium our prayers take.
    kimmyk said...
    Once I wrote all my secrets down when I was traveling recently and left them in an envelope at the airport addressed to "anyone who cares". It was freeing.

    How sweet that someone found them, but I wonder why they were all in a bag to begin with. Whose bright idea was that?
    TJ said...
    I guess in some ways a blog can fill the same purpose--on more than a few occasions I'd write about things that I hadn't come to express out loud. It's been a pretty cathartic experience at times...
    Trudging said...
    Nice post! I heard the same news report about the letters. It seems like such a betryal
    NMAMFQLMSH said...
    Wonderful post NWC...
    JJ
    Rebecca said...
    It's sort of like Post Secret, telling others your secrets to free youself.

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