My darling, my most beautiful,
It is the middle of the night. I should have been in bed long ago but I cannot help but write.
For you see, I want you to have these words. And only letters they might be, scratched out with a long-tipped pen and yet they are indelible, something that you can keep.
Forever. Like a locket around your neck. Or a perfume on your skin.
Do you remember? I want to tease you a little bit, to play a trick, to see how far back your memory goes.
For I can see you now as you were then. When nothing of life's disappointments and surprises had not yet touched you.
What joy shone from your eyes. Do you remember what that felt like? That one odd summers day when you let yourself dance in the rain because it was the only thing to do?
I do. Pure and whole and shining brighter than the sun under those drops like diamonds because wonder filled your body, young and lithe.
So alive. This is still who you are. This will always be who you are.
I have a favour to ask of you. Just in this moment, can you put your hand over your heart for me? Either hand, no matter.
And now, what does it feel like if you close your eyes and listen? To hear with your ears, yes, but also with your emotions. Because I am here for you, as you breathe, to hold anything that arrives.
Those disappointments and awkward moments. The things that you lambasted as failures. I know. They made you want to hide but no chérie, please don't.
Because when it all comes down to it...our bodies may change, our hopes and desires...but what is at the base of all that is your heart, our heart my dear one.
We may gain too much weight or lose too much. Our bodies and eyes, those captors of dreams, may sag. But we do not.
Can you hear me, my love? Can you feel me embracing you as needed, exactly as you are?
You deserve no less, for despite your challenges and growing even when you thought that you had passed such an age, here we are.
I need you to take care of yourself, in the big and the small. Yes, we once walked across Manhattan in a snow storm to buy ourselves the only gift that we could afford at Tiffany's because we knew we deserved it and wear it still. It was Valentine's Day and there was no lover in sight.
Yes, when we can we spread the best ointments on our skin as a gesture that is hopeful to continue. We listen to jazz.
How it moves me when you, the best of me, hears me singing Sarah Vaughan.
I am writing this letter to promise you, my one of all ages, that I love you.
Not only the idea of me, the one they tend to fall for, but the real entire.
I will ask my last favour but pay attention even if it seems too simple. We both know that life is rarely such and yet, possibly, oh so giving. Can you, my dear, upon waking say (either out loud or to your inward heart) five things that you like about yourself? Can it become a ritual that you create everyday so that no one else defines you but you? For there is infinite delight in your waking, each breath.
Just like the dawn I find before me now.
How beautiful you are. I close my eyes knowing this to be true.
I love you.
My Mom, who is biased but not as much as you might think, believes that the above is one of the better things that I have written.
Admittedly, I was relieved to hear it as this was a commission from someone whom I have incredible respect for, Victoria Fantauzzi, one of the co-founders of La Bella Figura Beauty.
“I have never felt that we’re just a brand. We’re educators, artists, environmentalists and women with vision. We don’t isolate ourselves into believing that we only bring one thing to the table. There is a diversity of talent within our company and I think that's what it takes to build a team. We’re a library of resources and I want to reflect that into everything we do.”
I love her above quote and I most certainly do think of her as an artist. I was moved to tears by smelling "Love" one of her current trilogy of perfumes, Love, Loss and Lust. She and her partner Karen King search the world for the very finest ingredients for their products. It is who they are.
I first connected with Victoria through our mutual friend, Jamie Beck, who is a muse for the house and the inspiration behind the brands best-selling (as in each batch is sold out within 24 hours) illuminating rose oil. I watched an Instagram live between them and wondered who is this whirlwind Victoria?
So, yes, I was deeply moved when she asked if I could write a love letter. Of course I could and when I sat down to do so, I instinctively understood that what she was asking for was actually a love letter to myself. My friends...this was no easy feat for me. I have been through so much, my confidence has been so beaten down.
And yet, I found that if we all listen deeply to the heart of who we are...well, that goes far beyond the surface of whatever particular changes or personalities we might be inhabiting at the moment. I spoke to the truest of myself here. And I know that person to be good.
These photos were taken with wonder in my eyes on a random spring day.
May we all feel that when we can.
*Those of you who have been reading me for a long time know that I never do sponsored posts. It was I who asked permission to share this letter with you. *
I offer such love as hope to you on this new moon which is all about new beginnings.
It is never, ever too late to begin again as long as hope lives.