Hello, Ms. Giuliana and Mr. McCumber,
I am delighted to make your acquaintance.
I am quite surprised that someone wants to write to me – and especially surprised that I received two pen pals at once. I would be very glad to be a pen pal for both of you. For Gee-Jay. That has a nice ring to it, I have to say. It sounds spiky but not unfriendly. Names condensed into sounds that are like letters in your alphabet.
I do not know if that is a proper way to start a letter. I confess that I have written very few letters like this before. Usually I communicate differently. But I like this. Writing things down by hand is refreshing, a chance to pause and to really think about the words one wants to use. I even got a notebook for these letters. I am sitting in my garden, writing this now. I can hear the sea next to me, and it helps me think about the words you wrote to me.
So, first of all, I hope you are not too hopeful that I can answer all the questions you might have. I may have put “spiritual guide” as my profession, but I confess that I am not very good at dealing with a lot of things in life. My speciality lies in specific moments, often traumatic ones. But I will do my best. I do spend quite a lot of time for thinking, so perhaps I can sometimes think up something helpful. When I have time, that is. I am very busy, though I can always find a moment for myself when I really need it. Such as when I might want to write a letter. I do not know if I have wanted to do that very often before now. But I felt a burst of happiness, like a heart skipping a beat, when I received your letter. So I think I do want to write more letters from now on.
As much as it pains me to hear about your sadness, Gee, it is true that everyone is sad sometimes. Or at least most things. I am sad too quite a lot. In your case, it sounds like your sadness is born from happiness. Happiness from the time when you still had your now deceased pen pal. I know of Dusk Mann. I checked his profile, and I know a person who was in contact with him. He sounds like a very good young man who lived an eventful and full life. Still, I can understand your sadness. People cling to those they have formed attachments to, even after their passing. That to me often proves that the attachment was genuine. I am happy that you got such a good friend through this project. I imagine you have many good memories of him. And I hope we can possibly be friends – or at least friendly acquaintances – too.
It is not unheard of to write letters to dead people. It can help the ones who were left behind deal with the passing when done right. Sometimes it has been done because people have thought that the dead will really get the letters. And who am I to say they will not? The dead leave whispers and echoes behind when they leave, and sometimes the living can echo right back at them. I hope you can find happiness through still writing to Mr. Mann, even though he might not write back. It is a safe assumption that one needs time to write. Though sometimes I wonder whether – if contained properly – timelessness actually grants more time. Or at least takes away schedules. Then again, that might only work for beings who exist in a state that is not bound and guarded by time. Sometimes I try to find real timelessness. I search an old place and lie down there and try not to think too much. But I can still hear the clocks turning, or at least I think I do.
Time is indeed an interesting thing. Humankind still has not quite figured out what it is. Lines and spirals and blankets are just some of the theories I have heard about. What I can tell about time is that it is necessary and powerful. It is needed for a universe to function properly. Or at least most universes, I would guess. I think there are so many different universes that there might be some that could exist without time, and even without space. But such a universe would be very different, and it would need its own set of rules. Or perhaps such a universe would die before it is even properly established.
I am sorry, I think I am thinking about things that are too far away, even though I should be focusing on the nearer, smaller things.
I checked both of your profiles, Gee-Jay. It makes me happy to know that two very different people have become friends – friends who were ready to team up to write to me, no less. I would love to hear more about you. And perhaps I can tell you something about me as well.
That is how this goes, is it not? You are still young, Gee, but you have already seen quite a bit of life in your city. And Jay, you have had a life with many goodbyes. But goodbyes always mean there were hellos as well. And – I imagine – many fond memories in-between. For me, hellos and goodbyes are often the same thing, because I usually see my clients only once. It is wonderful to be able to share a life with people, even though the lives do not last for an equal amount of time. I hope I can help you “make peace with comings and goings”, as you put it. I do not know if I can, but I will try my best.
Also yes, I do know quite a bit about Buddhism. I am not a part of any religion or official philosophical group, but the people I guide are from all walks of life and from all sorts of backgrounds. So I have come across many, many different ways to look at life.
So, as I said, I do not know if I can give you what you seek, but I will try. And you are ready to give me something back. Thank you. You say you can give me fun and funniness, smartness and connection, mystery and curiosity. What lovely gifts! I am not funny, at least never on purpose. I just do not seem to have a knack for it. So I appreciate you giving me funniness, Gee. And I do not think that I am very smart either, so your gift is also very welcome, Jay.
It is nice to hear from people who like reading. I also love to read. I have a sizeable library, where I sometimes sit down to read. But I very rarely read to anyone, and it is even rarer that someone would read to me. So talking about reading and the things we read sounds lovely. Talking about things in general sounds good. I have a couple of friends, and I do talk to them, but more definitely would not hurt.
Curiosity is something we also share, I think. I love mysteries as well. Perhaps we can uncover some mysteries together, through words and connection.
I hope I will be hearing from you again, and I wish you all the best.
P.S. I am glad that you like my name, Gee. It does flow quite nicely, which is why I am fond of it. And I suppose the meaning would come across as “cool”, as long as it is simply a word.