I wrote a letter to my dad, I was going to write 'I really enjoyed being here', but I accidentally wrote 'rarely' instead of 'really'. But I wanted to use it, I didn't want to cross it out, so I wrote 'I rarely drive steamboats, Dad. There's a lot of sh*t you don't know about me. Quit trying to act like I'm a steamboat operator.' I know this letter took a harsh turn right away.
We live and breathe words. .... It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted--and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.
Other letters simply relate the small events that punctuate the passage of time: roses picked at dusk, the laziness of a rainy Sunday, a child crying himself to sleep. Capturing the moment, these small slices of life, these small gusts of happiness, move me more deeply than all the rest. A couple of lines or eight pages, a Middle Eastern stamp or a suburban postmark . . . I hoard all these letters like treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship. It will keep the vultures at bay.
My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!And yet they seem alive and quiveringAgainst my tremulous hands which loose the stringAnd let them drop down on my knee to-night.This said, -- he wished to have me in his sightOnce, as a friend: this fixed a day in springTo come and touch my hand ... a simple thing,Yet I wept for it! -- this, ... the paper's light ...Said, Dear I love thee; and I sank and quailedAs if God's future thundered on my past.This said, I am thine -- and so its ink has paledWith lying at my heart that beat too fast.And this ... O Love, thy words have ill availedIf, what this said, I dared repeat at last!
I do must decidedly object, and have a most invincible and powerful repugnance to that frequent reference to the Almighty in small matters, which so many excellent persons consider necessary in the education of children. I think it monstrous to hold the source of inconceivable mercy and goodness perpetually up to them as an avenging and wrathful God who - making them in His wisdom children before they are men and women - is to punish them awfully for every little venial offence which is almost a necessary part of that stage of life.