Dear Leonard: A Farewell Letter

young-leonardDear Leonard,

This morning I wear a scarf, wrapped around my head. I am in mourning. I am saying goodbye.

Leonard, we never met, but we did. Somehow, somehow, you reached across the ocean of mystery, touching my deepest, most secret places. You became real. For years I joked to friends about being your lover, but the truth is…it was not a joke. I sometimes made it sound more silly, more lighthearted than it really was.

Perhaps I was afraid. Maybe I’ve been afraid, this whole time.

Somehow, somehow, in your rolling words and echoing rhyme, you dug up parts of me that I did not want. You exposed me. You became real, and I could not look away. You became real. Sometimes, whole albums on repeat for days: my body shaking, an earthquake. Sometimes, I’d be cooking dinner and have to stop, fall to the floor—there would be a line that was just too much. Sobbing. There was one moment I remember in particular. One song. One afternoon. You shattered me: The course of my life changed forever.

Leonard, your music was my meditation. My medication. Leonard, your music was my release.

And the world, the world feels so different with you gone. Call it the curse and the blessing of being a teacher of energy—I have felt your physical presence depart. I can, quite literally, feel the absence, in my bones and spine. In the air around us. You’re gone. You’re gone.

Dear Leonard, dear lover, you soothed and aroused so many hearts. You, you my love, you did it! What a life! You dared to write and sing—really write, really sing. I remember you saying how sometimes it would take days, just to get a line right.

Leonard, I must say more. I must speak of the deepest things. I must speak of the things you may have never known and might always know. Leonard, you came to me in dreams, for so many years. The last time was in September. It was a night of nightmares.

I am working in old restaurants, falling-down creaking old restaurants, where nothing works and dust and rust prevail. I am in charge of a cash register, and money keeps on vanishing. I’m a lousy clerk. Everybody knows it. The people are angry, and they ball their fists into their hands. This goes on for some time. Then, finally, I notice you. My love, Leonard! You! You are in line with the customers.

At this moment, I know it is okay to leave my role; I know, suddenly, that I am dreaming, and that this is not some horrible situation but rather my own cunning creation, my own fascinating play. I leave the register and walk toward you. I am happy, exuberant, knowing some great blessing is on the way.

Suddenly, the scene changes. Now you are sitting in a small school desk. A desk for a child. You are resting your head against the white wall, a picture of perfect grace and repose. I bend down, come up close to your face, and say, You! It could only be you!

Your eyes grow wide, Leonard. There is amusement playing on your face. You reply:  Yes, Anya. I’m here. And I’ve got to tell you something, sweetheart. You have to learn that even though you are asleep, you can breathe. You can breathe deeply, my love. And that is what you must do. Breathe…

The word “breathe” comes from you like a purring cat; your voice echoes through my spine and heart. Reverberates and soothes. I can taste you in my mouth. I lean forward for a kiss. I always get a kiss when we dream together, so I know it’s okay. It’s part of our dance, ancient and thrilling.

You kiss me. You kiss me, Leonard! You are eighty-two years old but you are also a sweet child. You are both. The grey mingles with the new skin. You are my love. I kiss your cheek, so softly, and then somewhere in the midst of our cloud of kisses you begin to sing, gently, into my right ear. You always sing into my right ear. I soak in your love, I bask in the glory, as wakefulness begins to come…although I don’t want to, I gently sigh, letting go of the dream, letting go of your embrace…

leonard

Leonard, we are both poets. We share that. We are both keepers and champions of the word. We know what the word can do. (And we know what it can’t do.)

Leonard, we are kindred spirits. You are my friend. You have been my friend, my dear companion, these years. No one can replace you.

In honor of you, Leonard, I shed these tears. We never met, but we did. In honor of you, I wear this scarf, wrapped around my head. It is purple patchwork. It is my favorite.

Anytime you like, come kiss me in dream sometime.

 

All my Love Forever,

Anya Light

 


If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule an intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session via phone or Skype.

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Leonard Cohen on Repeat

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Leonard Cohen, man of the blues

And so it was that I was pulled to him, this lover. Pulled and pulled: moments on a bed; moments under trees and on beaches; moments on my porch: green plastic lawn chairs, rolling tobacco, and our knees converging in the utter spaciousness of cosmos.

We moved in together. I saw him as a mentor. A teacher. He helped me to health. The first lover, in fact, who brought me meals in bed. Made homemade chicken noodle soup and kept the kleenex boxes plentiful. Those things. Back then, during those dark days of illness, we’d put Leonard Cohen on repeat. Albums of melancholic holiness. Albums of blues and death and redemption: moments of vision. Albums beyond description.

Today, early Autumn, three years later, I’m planning to move out. I love my friend, I love the man who was my lover, but it’s getting close to leaving time.

Today, three years later, I look back, and see the path we took. It was a beautiful path.

How he taught me. How I taught him. The lack of linearity to the whole thing. The multi-dimensional flow of it. The rustle and churn. All those crazy notes and tunes.

Looking back, I see how messy it’s been. How incredibly lovely. How imperfect. How perfect.

I’m sad to go. But if I stay, it will just be on repeat: over and over and over again. Leonard Cohen, again and again. Truth be told, I’m pretty tired of Leonard.

So, I go. I move. I love. And I wish him well. Both of them.


If you like this blog, you might also like Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a more intimate encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule your intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session.

As With Water

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My lover and his lover broke up.

All of us, we used to live in the same city. A tiny town called Bowling Green sometimes not found on maps. Then, they moved to Colorado. I stayed behind, in Ohio.

We had vowed to stay a family. The distance is nothing, we’d said.

One summer morning, I watched them drive away, in his tiny black Honda Fit. I remember waving, following the car on foot for a number of meters, just like they do in the movies. I remember the corniness and the inescapability of that moment. Then, I remember my legs, as they became pure black granite, pulling myself back, back upstairs to that second-floor apartment. That had been ours and was now just mine. By simple blind, animal memory, I made my way without seeing to the bed, flopped onto it, and pulled the blankets up around my neck even though it was quite hot that day. I remember wanting to die. Wanting this joke, this misery of a life to end.

Somehow, I fell asleep. I dreamt about two anvils. They fell from the sky, right onto my head. I woke up flinching. Later that day I phoned them, wondering what state they might be in, hoping to hear just a flicker of voice, just to say I love you. No answer. I tried phoning a few hours later; no answer again. Before bed, no answer. All night and until I heard from them a few days later, I lied to myself in pep-talks: They are starting their new life together—how wonderful! They are so good for each other. I am happy for them. It’s okay we are no longer married.

Almost a year later, as long spring nights herald the first blushes of summer, I speak with my lover, with the man who used to be my husband, on the phone. He says: “We are breaking up.” I balk at the phrase. By now, my conditioning from the polyamory community has been ingrained. I remind him gently: “But, don’t you mean ‘transition’? You and she are transitioning to friends, right?” His reply comes without hesitation, and with a groan. “No. I wish I could call it that, Anya, but it’s really not a transition. It’s a fucking break-up. I’m so angry.”

All of this, this story, does not correspond to the happy story we would love to tell instead. The story that I, as a writer and member of the poly community, want to tell. This is, instead, a sad story. A dark one. One of endings and apparent doom. Indeed, this not shaping up to be the respectful, patient, loving narrative of two people transitioning their romance into something else. No, this is a plain old normal “break-up.” This is, indeed, a breaking of hearts. A splitting apart. A pain; a wound.

My lover and I, the man who used to be my husband, we finish our phone conversation. A few days pass. On the morning of the release of Opening Love, I wake not with excitement, but with visions of my shorn family. I am still in bed; I don’t want to rise. So, I drift. I see my lover, the man who used to be my husband, and the woman who—to me—will always feel like family. They are holding hands. Smiling. Radiant. Slowly, the scene begins to soften, melt, and their human bodies begin to lose form: arms and legs melt into glistening water. I watch this water. It collects where their feet used to be, into a small pool, atop a parking lot of asphalt the color of deepest night. I continue to watch. I watch the water, the patch of organic, beautiful blue somehow suddenly lending the human-made asphalt a sense of raw dignity. The asphalt: it’s almost beautiful now.

I look closer, but not with my eyes. I can feel, somewhere, in the pool—a pool that did not exist before the lovers became it—that their individual personalities are no longer. Now, they are the unnameable. They are merged and completely mingled. All one thing now. (Back in the physical world, I’m still in bed. I’m content to just be there, to let the vision unfold, content to stay still and to let the morning spend itself if it wants to. I’m choiceless. I lay.)

The hot summer sun now. It’s come. The pool begins to shrink. Slowly at first, but then faster and faster until there is not even a single drop left. There is only the place where the pool was, and there is the knowledge that the droplets, the water that made up the lovers, are now somewhere—perhaps in the clouds…or, maybe, in the humid air. Everywhere.