May 28, 2014

Lindeeana Jones and the Lost Love Letters



When Linda and I met we lived in different cities 600 km apart. We wrote a lot of letters. Big, thick, juicy love letters. And we both kept every single one of them, which over the years merged into one big boxed love fest.

It was heavy.

After we got together we spent 3 summers apart while Linda was in Israel working on an archaeological dig at Tel Miqne/Ekron. The dig is the site of a biblical city, one of the five Philistine cities mentioned in the Old Testament.

I stayed home, so again we wrote a lot of letters. I missed Lindeeana Jones, my very own swashbuckling archaeologist of the Holy Land desert.

These letters were also archived in the big box, and over the years the treasure trove of love blended in with all the other boxes of forgotten stuff. They gathered dust and cobwebs until we unearthed them this past week.

These outpourings of written love still crackled with energy as we went through them. We randomly selected envelopes to open and read together. It felt like recent history, but it all went down on paper from 1987 to 1994.

Wow. What do you do with such artifacts? Could we dispose of them? Or did they need to be enshrined in our own personal museum after being excavated from our closet?

Since we decided that nothing about our love or relationship had changed since the beginning, we let the letters loose. But we will cherish the day we took together to go through them and enjoy them one last time.


9 comments:

  1. How lovely that you were able to re-visit that earlier time together. It had to be a bit difficult to let them go, I know it would have been for me.

    As our unofficial family historian I struggle with keeping letters and old photos from 5 generations back. Even though I've scanned them onto digital media, I can't let go of the actual thing. I'm hoping someone in the next generation will show some interest and I can pass them on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss Marla,

      It was a wonderful, memorable session together - it was a blast looking at the past.

      We were going to take pictures, then write something about the moment down on paper, but we would only have to throw those out as well.

      We made wonderful memories, though.

      It is important to maintain some sort of history so we know where we came from. There are stories there.

      Delete
  2. How wonderful that you found the letters, but I can't believe you would get rid of them!! Memories can be a precious source of joy when we get older, and although we think we'll remember everything we actually don't. No matter how minimalist I went I wouldn't part with my partner's beautiful letters. I know some people scan all of their letters, but I feel the letter holds the energy of the writer. In the same way that an email is no substitute for a handwritten letter, I think a scan would be a poor substitute for the original, which your lover has held and written on by hand.

    Sorry for the long ramble, but I don't think it's a bad thing to have a few treasures in the form of letters and photos etc...I don't think we have to live with nothing at all to reach some sort of clutter-free nirvana!!

    Madeleine.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madeleine,

      I can definitely see your point, and there is something special about the original documents, but we are forging ahead with our extreme decluttering and the letter had to go.

      Throughout this process I have been asking myself, "If you had a month left to live, what things would be most important to you?"

      In such a situation I think I would be too busy living to worry about boxes of things I possess. I want to live every day I have left as if it were my last.

      Maybe we will regret disposing of our love letters, but I don't think so. If feels great so far.

      Delete
  3. Just like Miss Maria, I am the unofficial historian for both sides and though I have digitalized everything I am still struggling to part with the original. Photos I've managed, but not letters. I'm impressed with your dedication!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gam Kau,

      Congratulations on the photos. That is a big project that most people will never do.

      Written letters are different. 00s and 11s in varying patterns just don't do them justice.

      I guess it is similar to viewing art. I stood in front of Velazquez's Las Meninas in the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain and was blown away. Seeing it on the internet would not have been the same.

      But we are going hard on this project, and it is moving forward nicely.

      Delete
  4. Dear Gregg and Linda,

    Wow! I said that several times as I read this touching post. My mother, during a time of particular strife in my parent's marriage, threw away their love letters. Later in life she said she didn't really regret it; she didn't want anyone else to see them. I am struggling right now with a suitcase full (full) of letters that my grandmother wrote to her one daughter (my mom's sister). You have given me courage - I'm going to have one more go at them and release them.

    Your journey is such an inspiration!

    Regards,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely blog... discovered it accidentally while doing a google search on wabi sabi. Landed on your wooden coffee table. Stay tender, stay minimal. Pleasure to read your heart-warming posts. Am from India, we are traditionally a society that believed in conserving, reusing. we are changing in modern times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We gave away our wabi sabi wooden table when we moved last summer. We let it all go and it felt great. Linda and I love India. We spent several months there in 2001. It was our favourite country, and we feared for the changes that consumerism would bring to your lovely nation. Hope all is well for you. Thank you so much for letting us know you visited our blog. We get a lot of visitors from India, and that gives us hope.

      Delete

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