The 17th of August 1878 – Berlin, Connecticut

(found on a wooden desktop, beneath nothing more than an undisturbed layer of dust, which had obviously been stared through for decades with an intense interest)

Geraldine,

I’ve returned, and I must be off again. I will leave this here upon your desk for your perusal.

Gerry, dear, I have found it, and now I must share it with the world. I must, oh how I must, but I shall share it with you too.

I have been in dark and shadowed valleys, Gerry, and I have brushed with my fingers the pinks and yellows of the setting sun while standing up on mountains. I have been shoved into gutters by callous strangers and stabbed by ruthless lovers and been left to die in a bloody puddle upon the sidewalk. But, by God Gerry, I have – I truly have – found it.

There is an answer, contemptuous though you may find it, Geraldine, there is an answer.

And now I think back with a shudder to those nights we spent as children, shivering in the dark beneath the worn-through blanket of our father, wondering, crying, hoping oh so desperately for the answer.

Why, Gerry, dear? Why oh why and why some more?

Why the pain and why the evil? All the more terribly, why the joy and love? Why do things go so quickly, but then why do they even come at all?

What, what – in God’s name – what are we to do? Where are we to go? On what rock shall we stand, secured, in the face of this avalanche of rocks tumbling toward us, an avalanche rumbling all the same deep-toned promises of warmth and comfort we so desperately desire?

All the rocks have come loose, Geraldine. So there has to be another answer, and there is.

I have seen, Gerry. I have been to the valleys and the mountaintops and laid, bleeding, in the gutters.

It is us. Truth and light and permanent security are found through an understanding of their impossibility. The answer is us, within us, our spirit, our heart, our ability and impulse to commune, to transcend, to aspire, to seek-without-ever-finding.

So it is.

Friedrich

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