I found this book in a thrift store, mixed in with the well-thumbed Stephen King stories & nondescript romance novels. The ornate design & lack of title on the spine piqued my curiosity, which rose again when I pulled it from the shelf to find an even more intricate cover, but still no title. Taking note of the gilded page edges that matched the golden inlays on the cover, wondering what old tale they contained, I opened the book. It was blank. No text, no lines, no markings other than the spattered pattern of old moisture that had sneaked onto the very first page. Thinking to myself, “Oh, OK, it’s a journal! I could put this to good use,” I flipped to the flower patterned paper lining the inside of the front cover.
That’s when I saw it. The faded inscription, dated “5-79” in the upper right, read:
You once told me you wanted to write a book.
So why put off until tomorrow. Here’s something I hope you’ll use to scratch your thoughts in.
You’re a very special man Kevin, and very gifted.
Use your gift well & you’ll always find happiness.
- K -
I stood there frozen, reading it 3 more times. Those 4 hopeful, hand-scrawled lines - but not another word in the entire book. My heart broke for Kevin. And for K.
Then I realized my heart was really breaking for me – for my own empty pages + unfulfilled promise, for all the half-finished ideas + half-lived moments, for all I watched go by + never really opened myself up to. Without sobbing or moving a muscle, my eyes welled up & spilled their slow warmth down the sides of my face. In that moment I felt the weight of everyone with their work undone, their song unsung, their deepest desires unexplored. I was so deep in that unfulfilled feeling of holding onto a gorgeous gift – never given, never received – that just sits in the closet, still expertly wrapped in its wistful wondering.
Then I smiled. And I laughed. I realized the intention + energy, the potential + promise embodied in this gift can still be fulfilled – by me.
Kevin & K.,
Thank you both for all that was + all you are.
Thank you both for giving + letting go so I may receive.
Thank you both for caring + communicating.
I am writing a book.
I am scratching my thoughts into this journal today instead of putting off until tomorrow.
I am a very special man, and very gifted.
I am using my gift well + finding happiness. ALWAYS.
∞ DJ ∞