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November, 1948

Tuesday 29 November 1948



My Dear Cathy,

There is, and always has been, something mysterious to me concerning the sea. Its size and power, the simplicity it has on mornings and the rage it contains in the storms. What is any ocean, after all, but a multitude of drops? Its waves pushing in and pulling out, leaving upon the seaside many trinkets of random significances. There is a beach in Devon, a cove really, that I've come to love in a rare way usually reserved for people rather than places. It's a muse almost, just being on the sand, suddenly all ideas swarm to me and explanations appear.

And explanations are really what brought me here in the first place, I suppose. It was only a few days ago I came across a book, unfinished and written by hand rather than printed ink. They say that a half-read book is a half-finished love affair, and I've been left in a pitiful state of gloom in the absence of it's ending. The book (which is hardly a book but more of a journal) is of a man named D.G. Ellis, a British explorer that was sailing with a company from France to New Orleans in 1836. He writes a lot of the sea, and sometimes I look at the water in front of me and wonder if he looked upon the very same drops.

David. I've guessed the “D” stands for David, and perhaps the “G” stands for some sort of appalling English name, such as Gifford or Gerard. You can see the pathetic behaviour I've obtained over this, I hope.

It's a strange fate now that I think of it, how so many of us come to be enamoured with the worlds created by books. They don't offer any real escape, like we expect of them, but they can stop a mind from going mad. They've certainly done that for me many times, and I know they have done so for you too. No one understood my unhealthy obsession to this journal, nor why I insisted to buy it at the unfair cost of 8 pounds. You would though. In fact, do you remember when we were just kids and you fell in love with The Hobbit? You must have read it over a dozen times. You used to force me to play as though we were in the Shire, or the caves of the Misty Mountains.

I don't claim to be quite at that level of obsession with this writing, of course, but perhaps somewhere close to it. This man, D.G., is quite the melancholy writer I must confess. He speaks often of wishing to be home with his wife and young son, and thanks to the torn spine I fear I'll never know if there was a reunion between the three of them. I've searched records for his name, but always I come out empty handed. The libraries here truly are shite, pardon the language. Oh, how I wish I were back in London, in a flat overlooking the Thames. We always said we would move there. But back to the point, the libraries there, I'm sure they would have articles on this clever old man. Some documents have had to survive time, right? Time is a dreadful thing though. It's what stops history from all happening at once; time is the speed at which the past melts away. I just wish some things could have disappeared with less speed. You being one of those things.

My dear friend D.G. wrote in one of his entries the following: “There isn't a journey that won't change you in the least bit of ways.” And for some reason, this sentence spoke to me the most of all the others. It inspired me more than that, and you should be glad to know that I am writing more than letters now. But, journeys always change people. Small journeys or long ones, it doesn't matter the length or the distance you go, but it matters who you are when you come back. I just wish I knew of his return journey, and of how he changed, if even in the least bit of ways. So, I am left to wonder, to imagine and fill in the blank spaces, but it will never be enough.

I lied to you once. I told you that if you wish something to be true, and tell yourself it over and over again, it will come to be. That if you pretend hard enough your hope will be brought to life. But, I was wrong. No one has that power, because all revolutions are the sheerest fantasy until they happen.

It could just be bitterness that has brought me to believe that. Bitterness that I could wish every day for you to still be alive, though it could never be. But, I've come to learn our lives are not our own. We're all being pulled along and tossed and thrown about in this ocean we call our world. We never truly know our ends. I don't know my end and I doubt I'll ever know David's. While David didn't know his end, and you, nor I, ever could have known yours.

I'll never find it in me to forgive the world for taking you away from me. But, I will settle on living on to believe there is another world waiting for us. A better one, and that you'll be waiting for me there.

Love,
Ben





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