“Good Morning, Beautiful”


Dear Cyndy,

I wonder how many letters I penned to you in that dark, cold, lonely room in the tenement house on North Lafayette Street in 1978. It was a lot.  My goal was to write one a day – and at least a couple of poems a week.  That was ambitious, some might say a bit on the obsessive side, even for someone as fond of writing as I was, but here’s the thing – I was obsessed . . . with you.  I was always looking for new ways to describe my vision of you, how beautiful I thought you were (thus, the telltale introduction), and the way my heart felt in the few times a year we got to see each other and during the too much of the year we spent apart.  I hoped that my words, like these, could somehow keep “me” in front of you across the miles, present in a permanent sort of way so that I would not be forgotten. I even fantasized about them stirring your own heart (and other parts of you as well if I’m to be honest!).

I remember balling up page after page of yellow legal paper and tossing the trash on the floor around my dimly lit writer’s desk in front of the window overlooking St. Joe’s Hospital, as I desperately and, at times, frustratingly searched for “right” words. It was the height of my perfectionism.  Everything about those words, the way they were strung together, the quality of the penmanship, their preciseness, their cadence, had to be just right or I started over.  I started over a lot!  I would spend hours a night, sometimes into the early morning – often at the expense of my studies (don’t tell my dad!) to make certain that when I headed out the door for the long walk to campus around 5 a.m. I had a letter or a poem or both in hand ready to drop in the campus post office for its long trip across the country.  Each time, I would hold my breath waiting to hear that it arrived – and hoping it hit the mark . . . your heart.

I’m not sure I ever knew your heart where those letters and poems were concerned. Whether they were something you valued or became more of an annoyance, a ritual that you would have just as soon I give up or at least suspend to give your heart some breathing room.  In the end, that never really mattered to me.  What mattered to me was that every day (or at least every other day) an envelope greeted you at your mailbox and let you know that somewhere in the world, there was an aspiring writer, a hopeless romantic of sorts, who thought you were beautiful, who longed for you to believe that, and who was hell bent on loving you whether you were ready to accept it or not.  I’m not sure when or why I stopped making it a habit to tell you you’re beautiful.  It certainly wasn’t because you stopped being beautiful. You didn’t! In fact, you’re more beautiful today than the day we met and fell in love. The writer just got careless or misappreciated the importance of those words, or both.

And he’s sorry – very sorry.



On Forgiveness (an excerpt from “The Little Soul and the Sun” by Neale Donald Walsch)*


A few weeks ago, I was reminded that some of life’s most profound and important “truths” are found nestled in the pages of innocent looking children’s books . . .

“I know what I want to be,” the Little Soul announced to God with great excitement. “I want to be the part of special called ‘forgiving’. Isn’t it special to be forgiving?”

“Oh, yes,” God assured the Little Soul. “That is very special.”

“Okay,” said the Little Soul. “That’s what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that.”

“Good,” said God, “but there’s one thing you should know.”

The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.

“What is it?” the Little Soul sighed.

“There is no one to forgive.”

“No one?” the Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.

“No one!” God repeated. “Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you.”

It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around, and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.

“Who, then, to forgive?” asked God.

“Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!” grumbled the Little Soul. “I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like.”

And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.

“Not to worry, Little Soul,” the Friendly Soul said, “I will help you.”

“You will?” the Little Soul brightened. “But what can you do?”

“Why, I can give you someone to forgive!”

“You can?”

“Certainly!” chirped the Friendly Soul. “I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive.”

“But why? Why would you do that?” the Little Soul asked. “You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought–to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?”

“Simple,” the Friendly Soul said. “I would do it because I love you.”

The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.

“Don’t be so amazed,” said the Friendly Soul, “you have done the same thing for me. Don’t you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don’t remember.”

“We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it.”

“Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so,” the Friendly Soul explained further, “I will come into your next lifetime and be the ‘bad one’ this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.

“But what will you do?” the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, “that will be so terrible?”

“Oh,” replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, “we’ll think of something.”

Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, “You are right about one thing, you know.”

“What is that?” the Little Soul wanted to know.

“I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favor to ask of you in return.”

“Oh, anything, anything!” cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, “I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!”

Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.

“What is it?” the Little Soul asked. “What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!”

“Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!” God interrupted. “Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels.”

And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul’s request. “What can I do for you?” the Little Soul asked again.

“In the moment that I strike you and smite you,” the Friendly Soul replied, “in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possibly imagine ~ in that very moment . . .”

“Yes?” the Little Soul interrupted, “yes . . . ?”

“Remember Who I Really Am,” said the Friendly Soul.

“Oh, I will!” cried the Little Soul, “I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!”

“Good,” said the Friendly Soul, “because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are.”

“No, we won’t!” the Little Soul promised again. “I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am.

“And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.

And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness–and especially if it brought sadness–the Little Soul thought of what God had said.

“Always remember,” God had smiled, “I have sent you nothing but angels.”

*photo credit: onyxtruth.com