For a week I have lived on the brink of despair, overpowered by physical pain, overwhelmed with connected emotions, and though not thinking of leaving this earth, of withdrawing into the particular corner where I have absolute control. I feel as though nothing is worth doing, as if any effort is intolerable, that sinking into my particular brand of nihilism is the perfect solution. Then, the phone rings. On the other end I hear the voice of my son, Tucker, and we talk and talk for a long time. Most of the call, I listen, because he has so many new things to tell. He is a graduate student at the University of California working toward a PhD in physics, spends his summers in the heights of the Andes Mountains of Chile working with a state of the art microwave telescope searching for the beginnings of the universe. He is everything I could have hoped him to be. At the end of the conversation I tell him: I am so proud of you. One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been watching you grow from a child into the fine young man you have become. One of my greatest pleasures. I love you. And for me, that is the absolute and unchanging truth.
The call finished. I sat awhile, phone in hand, and allowed the feelings of the conversation to sweep over me, to carry me high, away from self, as a little of what is him seeped inside me, merging with the love that exists between us and connecting us as a wormhole connects two absolute and separate entities into one, and in doing erases all distance and time; and I decide in that short moment that I am well, and all around me is well, and will be so long as I can remember the sound of his words in my head.
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Wonderful letter, Sigurd! 😀