Wednesday, January 14, 2009

going away letters

When I moved back to New Mexico in 2005 I was leaving behind everything that had taken over ten years to become familiar. I left a marriage and a career and all my friends to come to a place where the only two people I knew were moving. I was excited and ready to make the move but also terrified! Before I left I had a "going away" party and asked my friends to bring sealed letters which I would open on an as needed basis should I feel sad or lonely in my new life. I opened a few of the letters shortly after I arrived but for some reason resisted them because even when I sometimes felt sad or lonely I was sure that there would be a time when I would feel more sad and more lonely and I wanted to have the letter when that day came. 
But then time started passing and I forgot about the letters until recently when a friend asked if I had opened all of them.
I found the large manilla envelope that I kept them in and decided to open them all at once. They made me feel very happy and a little nostalgic but even more than that, they made me recognize a pattern in my ways.
I have been known to buy the most beautiful, exotic, expensive piece of fruit, bring it home, display it on my table or counter in a pretty bowl or  a perfect plate and then proceed to watch it rot because I don't want to eat it because I don't want it to be gone. Or sometimes I might save my most delicious smelling bubble bath for so many years that eventually it loses it's sweet smell and turns funny, like old vegetable oil. Or similarly, I have a thing about being stocked up on toilet paper (to the tune of like, a minimum of 8 rolls) at any given time because I don't want to ever not have toilet paper when I need it....
I could go on and on with these neurosis. But I think it's pretty clear already.
So  after reading all the letters I realized that they would always be there for me to read should I ever feel sad or lonely so it was silly to have waited for so long to look at them. And then I thought about the fruit and the bath bubbles and the toilet paper and that whole absurd way of thinking about the good stuff and I decided life is just too short and that life is also so generous
with beauty that I don't need to worry about running out... 


  1. I'm so glad you opened them. Don't let anything "rot" anymore, eat that delicious fruit!!! Life has so many treasures just waiting to find you!

    You just make me smile Caline!

  2. You will never run out, you are right. You are a good stuff making machine. And if you didn't make it or create it, you notice it and share it...just as good!

  3. Your creativity shows even in the way you are learning life's lessons - This little blurb is far more revealing than you even can imagine... you also will never "spoil" you also are using all of yourself on a daily basis, trusting that there will always be more... I always said you were beautiful, not only outside but inside.... I am very proud to have you my life.... you my manilla envelope with infinite treasures in it. Much love

  4. Hi
    A friend of mine is leaving to live in another country for a year or two so I google 'going away letter' to find something nice to write in a letter, like a poem. Anyways, one of the first options Google gave me was this post on you journal. I think it is really sweet and encouraging.