The name goes by Tika and you just spent 3 seconds of your life
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I started to like reading old love letters when I was blog-walking on thoughtcatalog.com and I found this archive about love letters from famous writers and artists.
Writing letters, as Rilke put, needs some quiet and solitude and a not too incidental hour.
Come to think of it, writing letter could be such a beautiful form of how you actually care about someone else. You’re willingly spend your time for that person, and that person only, in the middle of your hustle bustle activities.
The common view these days is that people don’t write letters anymore, and that email and text messaging are death to romance. Perhaps people have grown less romantic and more cynical. Or perhaps people were less self conscious than we are today.
So while reading all these love letters and finding out the stories behind them, it was tempting to think that we modern barbarians have lost faith, both in love itself and in the art of its expression.
Love letters are letters which hold the power to be cherished and preserved above all any other letters. But, while love letter can be one of the most heartfelt, it can also sunk to the deepest crater if it’s overblown or cliche.
One thing that makes a letter special is because you can sense whether the author makes it wholeheartedly or not. if it is the latter, of course you might think it was written by a machine.
Below is the excerpt of one of my favorites love letters. It basically portrays the story of a loving mistress who does not know what she feels and a man who already knows. She is the one who brings “despair and misery” towards the man’s life by not knowing and keeping herself in denial
To Mrs Arabella Hunt
-Not believe that I love you? You cannot pretend to be so incredulous. If you do not believe my tongue, consult my eyes, consult your own. You will find by yours that they have charms; by mine that I have a heart which feels them.
What cannot a day produce? The night before I thought myself a happy man, in want of nothing, and in fairest expectation of fortune; approved of by men of wit, and applauded by others. Pleased, nay charmed with my friends, my then dearest friends, sensible of every delicate pleasure, and in their turns possessing all.
The scene of the world’s great stage seems suddenly and sadly chang’d. Unlovely objects are all around me, excepting thee; the charms of all the world appear to be translated to thee. Thus in this sad, but oh, too pleasing state! my soul can fix upon nothing but thee; thee it contemplates, admires, adores, nay depends on, trusts on you alone.
If you and hope forsake it, despair and endless misery attend it.
Earlier in January this year, I finally hiked my dream mountain; Gunung Agung in Bali.
I could say that hiking Agung is somehow a turning point of my life. I knew that Agung is one of the most difficult volcano mountain to hiked in Indonesia. Not to mention, it is also dangerous because of its wind chill and storm which often happens on the peak.
The reason why Agung is my dream mountain is because I know that Balinese people often do their sacred ritual performance there. We started the hiking at 12.30 AM, wishing that we would catch the sunrise when we got to the peak. Later on during the hiking, Bli Kadek (our guide, who is a local man) told us that he was part of the keeper of Agung. This automatically makes him also part of the Pura (the “church” for Hindu people) named Pura Pasar Agung. Bli Kadek then told us how every once a year Hindu people perform a ritual in Agung by hiking from the Pura to the peak of Agung. Not only that, they hike Agung with no shoes. But only a pair of sandal and sarong instead, as part of their ritual outfit. This surely slapped in me on my face and caught me in shocked. I, then, compared their spirit with my own. Realizing that I often lazily pray -even though it’s obviously not as difficult as hiking Agung with a pair of sandals.
Hundreds of meters later, after thousands of boulders being stepped on, we stopped for a while to get some rest. I remember that when we looked back, we can see that we’re on the top of the night’s cloud.
Deedee, my best friend who was also there, then told me,
Ah I watched this movie called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty around last week. And then there’s this part when Mitty asked Sean when he would take picture. Then Sean told Mitty that if he liked the moment, he wouldn’t take any pictures because he didn’t like the distraction of the camera. And he also said that he just wanted to stay in it. This must be what he felt.
I fully understand what Deedee said. It was all really mesmerizing. The stars, the trees, the cloud, everything. For a moment, I really couldn’t care less with how the wind bites my bones.
Bli Kadek then reminded us not to take too much rest, as it will cool down our body heat and we would got chilled. As we moved up, we finally reached the border for vegetation. “After this, there will be no more trees, only stones. The big ones” said Bli Kadek. Meaning that, it would be even colder than before since there will be no trees to cover us from the wind chill.
The boulders and the rocks are bearable. You only have to pull your body up the whole time and maintain your balance. What kills me was the wind. I was standing on one of the boulders, and I almost fell because of the wind. And I’m not even exaggerating! To make you understand how fast the wind was, the average velocity of wind is around 10-30 Km/hour on land. And that time Nashir, a friend of mine whose clock can inform wind velocity, told us that it was around 170 Km/hour.
Since I’m not a pro at rock climbing (really, I never nailed it), Nashir often helped to pull me from above. I was really hopeless and tired and cold. Bli Kadek saw this and he said “yes this place is the most difficult one. You have to choose which rock that is strong enough for you to grip. Wrong rock, and you can grip it well and you can slipped and fell”. I prayed and I prayed, whispering that I didn’t want to die yet. Just after I calmed myself, Bli Kadek shared another fact that made me feel slapped, “during our ritual the most difficult one is not pulling our body to go up. But how we have to manage to push the buffalo which we want to sacrifice to the peak”
ranges up to 3,031 meters above sea level Gunung Agung is a surefire place that makes me realize how tiny me and my problems are and how we, as humans, often forget to be grateful for what we have.
you know, the weird part of our story is the fact that:
but ey, I’m in the process of making peace with my past, and that also goes with a good bye wave to you.
I bid you adieu, and I wish you live happily ever after.