Thursday, May 8, 2008


I'm reposting this letter because it nourished me, and it nourished someone else. Namaste.


My friend chehaw,

The calendar says you turn 36 today, amigo. But I'm sure you feel younger than that. It seems like you've been 28 or 29 for awhile now. Good. With all the things you've been through, the fact that you're still standing is wonderful. The fact that you choose to thrive is amazing. Most other people would have withered. But, you're not other people.

Watching you from afar, I've noticed a change in you. The manner in which the change has come mirrors you--quiet, subtle, yet unmistakable and always present. You have become more conscious, more aware. It's not like you were never that way. As a kid, I remember you were always paying attention to what was happening around you. Now, it's different. You are more alive that you ever have been. You are more present than you ever have been. You are more energetic than ever. You tell me you sleep only 5-6 hours a night. I marvel at the energy you now possess.

I asked you where all this boundless energy came. You shyly answered, it just came. The tears in your eyes betrayed you. Everything you possess, truly possess, has been hard-won. You had to navigate through very difficult waters to get to this point. You got your heart broken, you weren't expecting it. And you were devastated.

You did something that most other people lack the strength to do. You could have easily been sucked into a whirlpool of angst, sorrow, misery. And for awhile, I worried that you would be. I needn't have worried about that.

Now, this is what I like about you. You proved more than resilient. You showed that you are greater than your failures, your shortcomings. You said to yourself that you may not be perfect, but goddamnit, you will be everything you can possibly be. Every day, in large ways and small, in public and private, you have shown what you are truly made of. What was that you write about all the time? Heart, soul, spirit, love, passion. It seems to me you try to make those who you are every chance you have. You willed your way to something that is intangible and greater. You do possess a certain amount of stubbornness, a certain relentlessness. Just be careful with it, ok?

Your friend you mentioned to me once. You haven't told me much about her, but I can put two and two together easily. This friend has done things for you that you never expected. I don't think it was easy for you. It still isn't. A lot of what you feel and experience now flows from this friend. You still see much in her. Right at this moment, be grateful for her and what she has done for you.

You told me you are worried. That in your quiet moments, you wonder if you can keep up the energy you have now. You lie in bed, or drive, and the thought wanders in. Let in wander. Look, stop worrying about your energy. You eat well, you exercise, you write. You cleanse your body and your soul of the toxins and bring in the nutrients they need to grow. You always do this. You will never stop doing this. You know what you can give, and you know what you can take.

You've never really been too interested in the material. You like clothes, and electronics, and cars, sure. But you've never been that attached to them. What matters most to you is the gift-giver. I see you wear that argyle sweater a lot. I know you like it. For you, it's not the sweater that has meaning; it's the person who gave it to you that means so much. I know you. Someone could give you that Nissan GT-R you've be drooling over, but that person's presence in the car means more that the car you're in. Their presence, in your mind, outweighs their presents. Their soul, their heart, their spirit. For you, it's always been about the spiritual, the intangible. Keep it that way.

I know what you want. You think you have everything materially that you need. Those needs aren't great for you. But you have one great need. Actually, two. You need to give and receive love. It's not easy for you, you know that. You try as hard as you can, or you try to just be. It never seems like it's enough, or it's too much. You wonder what's wrong with you. Not a damn thing. You know this, I don't have to tell you. Somebody will see that and take it and never let go. I know you want someday to be right now. I know it's hard for you to be patient. You will make it. You have willed yourself to so achieve many things. You will will yourself to where you want to be.

You want so much to give your heart away. You want to be someone to lean on, a protector, a confidante. You want to be so much for somebody.
You want to be everything for someone. I know it hurts you that you can't. You know you can be these things. Keep that confidence. Carry it all the time.

I know you want someone special in your life. You have so much to offer and so much to give to that someone. And you ask for so little in return.
You must also be willing to receive as much as you are willing to give, too. To me, you're a little like Superman. You have so much good going for you. But you have one vulnerability, one piece of kryptonite that can take you down. You know what it is. It's your heart. You can take any shot anyone throws at you and it washes off like nothing. Except for your heart. It wants to be out there, it wants to be so much. You put it out there and sometimes it gets hurt.

But while it's your vulnerability, it's your greatest strength. It's the greatest possession you have. You fight to protect it, you fight to let the world see it. Keep fighting to keep it out there and to let someone in. Let the world see and feel and experience all that you have to offer. Show it at every moment. Plant your flag everyday, every moment.

I read that blog post about Stanley Jordan and the seed cracking through the concrete. Be that seed.

You've often told me that the urge to just sit still and be quiet is powerful. That you should stop writing about how you feel. Don't you ever do that. Ever. For yourself, you have much too much inside of you to keep it hidden away. You pour yourself into your writing, in lieu of something else. You are as inexhaustible as you say you are. Keep giving of yourself. Keep pouring out that wonderful thing called you into the world.

I've noticed how you drive, and being in the car with you, I can see parallels to your life. Your car is red, and you are black--you both stand out from the crowd. You are very relaxed behind the wheel. Usually you drive with only your thumb and forefinger, guiding the wheel gently, but with purpose. Same way you move in life. You are always looking around you in the car, paying attention to what and who is around you. Again, you notice everything around you in your life, your body, your life. You don't overanalyze, but you are aware, and you want to be in the moment. The way you drive is the way you approach life.

I've always admired how big your heart is, and wondered how your body can hold it in. All you want to do in your life is to give that big ticker and everything in it to someone. God graced you with something extraordinary. Someone will see it.

You believe in yourself. Strongly. You believe strongly in who you are and what you can be and what you can do. Too much? Maybe. But you have certainty of yourself. Deep down. Certainty in you, and more important, certainty in what you can truly be. This is a trait I know you will nourish and nurture.

People turn to you for advice, strength, because you have gobs and gobs of both. All you want for yourself is someone to turn to. As the sensei takes care of others, who takes care of the sensei, you asked in your blog. Someone will.

Do you know something? One of the things I admire about you is your courage. Every day, you write about your deepest fears and feelings for the world to see. You hang every vulnerability you have out there. You know how dangerous that is, letting the world see the real you. The world might take advantage of you and the great things you have to offer. Yet, it seems like you don't care, and that's either dumb or courageous--I haven't figured it out.

Wait, yes I have. It's courageous. You acknowledge that you leave yourself open to taking a shot to your most vulnerable spot. But every day, you still write. Paint by words, you call it. Paint the real you. The tears, the frowns, the joy, the smiles. I enjoy reading who you really are. I take so much strength in what you do and who you are. And I am sure that people who read your words take the same things.

The latin root of the word courage is cor, or heart. That courage, heart and you are hand-in-hand is no surprise. Two things you've always possessed have been pride and determination.

The thing you try to do every day is live as best as you can. You live everything your heart has inside it. Live to the beating of your heart. Live what your heart carries proudly.

You write about your dreams. Some of them leave me wondering about you, my friend. Wondering if you are ok. But I think you are. You've told me it's beautiful and scary at once, what you dream. The wolves and the nakedness and nine dreams in two hours or something. Odd at first, yes. I think your brain and your heart are working together to give you every opportunity to become who you want to be. And the great thing is that you're letting them do it.

And something else. These things, these pulses you say you feel. I don't know, friend. I've never heard of anything like that. I trust you feel them. I know you said you went to the doctor a while back, and he said you were fine. I don't know what to tell you.

Your mind, your body, your soul are going through an experience that they have never embarked on before. They are feeling their way through an unknown process. They are being tested unlike they have been tested before. You will pass the test.

You are so much good, my friend. You have so much to offer someone, you can't help but be irresistible to someone. It's cliche, yes, and I know you hate that. As you say, cliches tend to be true. This one, about you, truly is. You are special, and someone will find that irresistible.

I've said more than I thought, so I'll close with this: I don't have to tell you this, but I'm going to say it anyway--be as good a man as you can possibly be at every moment. Your goodness will be a light that will draw someone in.

To you, I bid namaste. Om mani padme hum.

Happy birthday, my friend.

No comments: