Don't I have a great zip code? I love the unexpected 5 in the middle, that forms a perfect triangle. When I moved here, my cousin sent an email that said 'Boy what a bummer that your zip code is 12534 and not 12345.' I responded, 'I think my zip code is cool. Five digits and not one numeral greater than 5.' Plus the aspect of the 5 being out of proper order. That's a major difference between my cousin (rightwing authoritarian follower) and me, right there. 12534. No wonder Hudson attracts iconoclasts. Love & kisses, dearest J - Belle***
Cue light on otherwise blackened set, on handsome bearded middle-age gentleman, in dark tailored suit, crisp white shirt, school tie (perhaps), suspenders, who intones, over his readers, with - at once calm and enthusiasm...
One of the reasons reading Heidegger is at the same time so riveting and such a painful experience is that he never ceases to struggle to transcend the Cartesian divisions which analytic language entails, in order to demonstrate that there is a path, a way through the forest, the travelling of which is in itself the goal of human thinking. Though we can emerge into a 'clearing', we cannot hope to reach the clear light of the Empyrean, which... is reserved only for the gods. - Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary, p. 450-451***
Belle to J, 22 July 2008
... Do you know that I kiss my letters to you right before I post them? Even the very first letter, to express my condolences and thank you for the book. When the urge swept over me to kiss the envelope (right in the P.O.) before parting with it, I knew I was in trouble...***
Actually I inadvertently overstated or misrepresented... I wasn't 'in trouble' with that first letter. D dropped me off at the P.O. and as I ran up the steps I felt a surge of feeling that I wanted, with sudden urgency, to express. Kiss the envelope, was all I could think to do to give it 'external representation' (you are rubbing off on me, J!).
D was waiting for me and there were people at the P.O. so I didn't have any privacy. I couldn't commune for a moment as I do when I mail something to you from my car. (Which was what was so hateful about seeing that leering handless vagrant yesterday - he interrupted and may have seen the ritual moment when I think of you and lift the paper to my lips.)
With that first letter, I didn't expect to feel what I did. I wasn't 'in trouble' at that point, but I did experience a surge of feeling. Forgiveness was what I felt. Not of you, but rather, of the past, that all that had happened between us so many years ago was a wash now, that all is forgiven. It was a moment of grace.
I am not by nature a forgiving person. I hold lifelong grudges. I am the queen of the silent treatment. If I am pushed beyond a breaking point I shut down and can no longer speak to that person (so awkward in a workplace!).
So to experience something that felt like forgiveness is a unique sensation for me. In fact, it's so unfamiliar to me, in a genuine way, that I've never quite believed in forgiveness, as in 'forgive and forget', get over it, honor thy ____ (whoever). I was never able to persuade myself to forgive anyone.
But I felt this sense of forgiveness, there at the P.O. that Saturday morning - to think, only a month ago. In Heideggerian terms - hey, I can get theoretical too! - I experienced the 'crack' - an understanding that what had been the 'given', our history, was now past, and that as I slipped the envelope into the slot, the future - which I had thought to be all but over - had the potential for something quite, quite different.
Yes, darling, it was good for me too but would have been better if you weren't in Quebec or Houston or wherever. In my not terribly long list of erotic demands, have I mentioned my preference for actual corporeal presence?
Belle to J, 22 July 2008
I imagined - and for a moment could feel - that you with mouth and tongue, were rapt in loving the 5 between the 12 and 34... I wonder if, time zones away, you were having similar thoughts at that moment? Considering how physically unrequited our love is, I take it as a small dispensation when I sometimes wake with the sensation that you are actually with me. I feel a kind of pressure or pressing on me in the night and I don't feel entirely alone (and I don't mean cats). But it only lasts a few moments, and I can't sustain it.***
Many kisses - all of you.
Lights off. Come here, you.