Yes, World, I am writing to you in a "dear diary" or "are you there God, it's me, Margaret?" fashion because I mean to be honest with you.
It seems in this age of asserting yourself behind a persona on a blog, people are big into writing open letters. Sometimes it's great; some of these issues need to be addressed and the nice thing about being individuals in this varied world is finding our points of reference on the basic essentials for decency or kindness or moralities. Or not.
Sometimes it's a bit much. You're using a public forum to call attention to what may be a self-righteous assertion of what should be a private matter. Paradoxically, it can be cowardly to call out someone in public rather than talking to them face to face in private. The question we could ask, I think, is what is your motivation for your open letter?
This is my motivation for my open letter: too many times we write open letters to address wrongs or to air our grievances or to decry "what is wrong with society and the world today?"
And I want to write an open letter about how wonderful the world is.
This letter is for the bus driver who saw me Usain Bolt-ing to the bus stop in a panic frenzy and waited a few extra moments so I could be sure to leap onto what was my last salvation to get to work on time.
And for the bus driver who saw me miss the bus after frantically jay-running to catch it, and slid to a stop next to me, opening the doors and saying "Hey I'm following that bus for the next few stops. Hop on and we'll try to catch up to it at one of them."
This is for the elderly gentleman who comes into the cafe I work at first thing every Saturday morning. You always come a few minutes early, but you wait politely outside until we open because you don't want to be in our way. 8 oz mocha breve, extra shot, temperature at 145 degrees precisely so you can down it in one go and be off into the bright morning. But not before you shoot the breeze with me, talking about the different places you visited while you were in the navy and the showdown Jimi Hendrix had with Eric Clapton, making me imagine Clapton straining at his guitar strings, sweat pouring down his face.
This one's for cafes that have large windows so that when someone comes in, their figure is just a black silhouette that edges closer and closer into being with the light a bright halo around them.
Magic hour that bathes the world in this evanescent golden glow, whose transform transience revels in the glory that we'll never know if we love it merely because we can't keep it.
On that note, this one's for summer days that stretch long and far into these summer nights that rapture us in immortality, delusions (are they?) of grandeur, and this supreme belief that anything is possible.
I love the world for making me feel both invincible and startlingly vulnerable.
This is for the stranger that let me fall to my knees to hug his golden retriever puppy and all the unconditional love and puppy therapy that comes with it. Nothing compares with the joy of first meetings with puppy love.
This is for you baristas, you waiters, you customer service people who may smile and say hello because it's your job, but I still love you for it. I'm a very hello person and even if hello's and how are you's and what can I do for you's may be said by you dozens upon dozens every day, I hope that sometimes it's more than a routine. And even if it isn't, it means a lot to me.
Thanks for those moments that are impossible to capture on film. The fog swathed in frost-rimed exhalations while I wait for the bus on early mornings, the dance I maneuver when weaving through tessellations of people on the sidewalk, that one stutter-stop moment when I slip on slick metal grating to save myself in the nick of time. It makes me feel those private moments are something intimate I only share with you and they feel like a personal gift. Thanks for that illusion.
Generally speaking, this letter is for the aurora borealis. Midnight sun, black hole sun, eclipses, red moons, the Mariana Trench that serves as some sort of time portal into the age of the dinosaurs. For white-capped waves and green glass waters and snow with all its feel and look and eyelash-clinging abstraction. For the gristle of dirt sand underneath my feet and even that schlock of suction hiccup when I pull my shoe out of mud.
Specifically speaking, this letter is for serendipitous meetings, brief or lifelong. For those that I could never plan for or expect, but are made the more wonderful because they aren't personally created abstractions or selfishly constructed projections. For bookstores that hold more books than I could ever read, for the hundreds of people that I will never know that I pass on the street. As melancholic as it is, it's wondrous to know that they both contain worlds and beauty and intimacies that I could never full comprehend. This letter is for you, world, because you are too big for me to consume entirely.
This letter is for what we see when looking liking love, and for those unseen dimensions we slip into when trying to describe the whys and wherefores, and how time and the light of the day can abscond together hand-in-hand unseen and wistfully because they like farewells as much as we do.
This is for a^2 + b^2 = c^2, which I think about every time I take a diagonal shortcut.
This is for first love, newborn love, filial piety, unrequited love, all you need is love, fading love, fake love, self-love, love of power, and that heavenly love you experience oh so briefly when a sugary Krispy Kreme doughnut meshes with the hot slice of coffee in your mouth.
This is for your beauty to conquer and be conquered by -- even if it's not mandated or maybe especially because it isn't an ordinance to be deeply affected by you.
PS. Thanks for having such delicious food. I love food.