A Letter Between Former Friends

Recently by Rev. H. R. Curtis: Deadly Stupidity: Government Roads in DeerCountry

Dear State,

I use the customary salutation even though this letter will make it clear that, in our case, we must consider it merely a convention and quite devoid of any real feeling. Oh, I know, we’ve had our times together when we were quite close indeed — but those days are, God be praised, behind us.

To think how young I once was! At least, I’d like to blame it on my youth. Though my Father had warned me about your seductions — and though you yourself were quite cruel to me when we were growing up together back East — as a young woman I could not resist your charms. You were a man of action — so powerful and strong — so dashing in your uniform! And, frankly, as a young lady of my stature — a queen by birth, wasn’t I? – I felt at that time that I deserved the honor and wealth that you could provide for me. So, though I had been betrothed to another by my Father, I took up house with you.

And how my manner changed almost immediately! With your wealth and honor came also pomp and violence. Where before I had been content to settle my quarrels with words, it was now all too easy for me to have you deal with them in more precipitous and (as I thought) effective ways.

But it was as my Father said it would be — a chasing after the wind. I learned that your violent temper could not always be directed by my own will — that it would, in fact, often be directed at me. It was a long process — I came to my senses only slowly. Even when I first expressed my doubts about our relationship I would return time and again to your arms.

But what finally did it was physical separation. As the flower of my youth faded into middle age, I began to feel suffocated by your very presence. I built new, humbler houses in the West and South and began to imagine life without you. I find I like that notion much better than I ever thought I would. I remembered my Father’s warnings, the purity of my childhood when you were openly against me — and the long-suffering patience of my Husband.

But you know all that. I’m writing today for a different reason. If I could come to my senses, I still hold out some hope for you as well. Well, perhaps it is better to say that I hold out hope that you can stop being so much like yourself. I write today with a suggestion — something that really helped me recapture who I was meant to me. It may just help you become better than you are as well.

When I moved out West I found that things were different, especially in one way: I didn’t have you there to force my children to support their Mother. At first, frankly, I was frightened by this prospect and tried to hang on to my privileges out here. If nobody forced them to support me, how would I survive in the style to which I had become accustomed? But what choice did I have? In the end, I had to give up the coercion and simply ask them to support me for the sake of love.

And here is the funny thing: to ask for love means you have to give it; to remove coercion means you have to persuade. Nothing could have more quickly and surely transformed me back into my Father’s daughter and my Husband’s wife than this. Once your purse strings were cut from my hands, I found that they were free to hold on to things of much greater worth.

Indeed, when I travel back East now, I find that I feel sluggish and weak because of my long connection to you in those parts. Something about the air is cleaner out West and down South — I can feel an energy in these old bones when I’m out there because these places hold no reminders for me of our misplaced love affair.

So, at any rate, that is why I’m writing today: I think you should try it, too. Drop the coercion. Give your children the same freedom I had to give mine. I did so, and I found myself. Perhaps if you did so, you would find a new and better self. Stop coercing them for your support. If you are a good father to them, then they will be happy to support you. And if they don’t support you — well, I think you will find that poverty of that sort can be good for the soul.

I have written enough and it is almost time for sunrise down South — and I do so love to hear the children sing Labia mea aperies — they are so happy, so free (sons of the kingdom are free).

Most Sincerely, Christi Ecclesia

December 30, 2010