Hey, it's Lex. Every month on the 15th, I'm going to feature a letter from writers and friends of mine. I'll still be sending you a personal letter on the last day of the month, but these hearts are too beautiful not to share. The following is written by my dear poet friend Eleanor, just for you. Follow her on Instagram @eleanorclaire_ and @weirdartbyeleanor to see her art/purchase it if you like. Enjoy this wonderful letter. I'll talk to you soon.
I’m sorry that this is the first time I’m writing. I’m sorry that I let so many little things fall through my cracks. I’ve wanted to write you, I have. Sometimes I sit down to begin, and all at once, there are so many little stories I need to tell that I get overwhelmed and walk away. Sometimes the paper sits there for days, always so patient with me.
Eventually I set it aflame.
Sometimes it feels like that’s all I do.
I’ve been wondering about what is burned into my DNA and what simply is coincidence. Is there a genetic code for chaos? Is there a way to find that piece of a chromosome and break it apart? Is there something in me that seduces hurricanes, or do I just look for them?
I’ve been wondering if you’ve ever felt like that. I know, I know, you probably think it’s all my fault. Maybe it is. Maybe I don’t feel safe unless I’m fighting to make it to the eye of the storm. But then the eye brings its supernatural stillness and I can’t help but break right into the winds again.
Sometimes I feel like I bear the mark of Cain. Like in infancy some god baptized me in flames. Have you ever searched your body trying to discern what draws the storms to you? Every time I look in the mirror I’m jarred by this being who does not bear any resemblance to me. I end up etching my skin with new ink so when I awaken I can identify these disjointed limbs.
Do you remember what I look like, dear? I know it’s been years since you’ve seen me. I don’t think I’ve changed much. I still stumble through the same alleyways late at night. But I can’t remember the last time I tried to be still enough to be recognized.
I’m sorry about the winter. I’m sorry I couldn’t make the spring come sooner. I’m sorry if you felt that I left you in the cold. It’s just that when you say my name, it’s the first time those syllables sound like mine. And sometimes, you look at me like you’ve known me all my life. But, how can you know me? I am always so full of blank spaces waiting to be remembered and written.
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is simpler than I’ve made it seem. I’ve spent so long fighting what I can’t see. I’ve spent so long hiding from storms. But lately, I’ve been giving myself over to them. Do you remember when we were small, how we would try to jump over the ocean waves? But inevitably, a swell would come crashing towards us, far too tall for us to try. You’d always go under; if you dip beneath the surface, you can avoid the crash. But I’d always wait – palms open and arms spread until I belonged to the sea, force breaking my stance and swallowing me into its undercurrent tumble and trance. I’d give my body over to the ocean and the way the moon causes crescendo and release.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m ready for surrender. I’m ready to wait until the swell comes and forces my body to dance in ways I have never known.