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Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Secret Valentine

Today, one day before Valentine’s Day, I found an old love letter from a “soul mate” from years ago, a restless, poetic man who stirred and quickened my heart with his artistic brooding and literary references.

Some 30 years later, I was moved when I read the intimate thoughts, revelations and literary allusions we shared in expressing our exciting chemistry and the irresistible attraction of the power of the words we gave to each other.

We were both struggling to be understood and self-realized through our writing. We wrote to each other with great fervor and flourishes, the struggling Irish poet submitting his work to New York magazines and a cocooned woman who wanted so much to just be free to express herself, trapped in her stable but stifling middle class life.

Our real passion was expressing our yearnings and desires as writers to be understood and connected in a creative sharing where we dared to write our personal and confessional thoughts, touching with our minds and heartfelt outpourings.

Looking back, it was a secret love as if written in another era, a series of lovers’ letters in a Victorian novel.

The idea of being with each other through our love of language was more exciting than any other intimacy. It was a “love match” of words where we indulged ourselves in our intimate correspondence.

At times it was excessive and very much like a suffering Lake Poet speaking to a love he could never have, but the wanting brought such ecstasy of what could be and fueled desire.

How ironic that the letter should reappear just before Valentine’s Day. I’ve been single for a long time, and it’s been years since I’ve had a “real” valentine. I found myself holding the letter against my heart as if hugging it would bring back the sentiments expressed by my “unrequited” love.

It spurred me to see if I could find my restless poet online, but I didn’t; and even if I had, who would he be now? I prefer to preserve the memory of my long, lost love because it’s part of the romance that will never end. It will always be there in the letters.

I returned the sweet, weathered letter into its envelope and safely back into the nightstand. 

It is a cherished reminder of a brief, romantic period of writers’ passions awakened but not fulfilled, that were never meant to be.

For me, it was the beginning of the woman who would eventually set herself free to someday write from her heart. So today, just before Valentine’s Day, I got a valentine that warmed my heart.

Copyright © Erana Leiken, 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Valentine photo by Billy Alexander
Envelope photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski


  1. Ha, ha, fun thoughts! I recently looked up an old flame. Let's just say I'm glad that I'm on my current path.

  2. Kathy,

    Yes, I guess the past belongs where it is, even though we sometimes see it through rose-colored glasses.

  3. Amazing how some things can transport you back to the moment you received it & feel all the things you felt. The mind is a wonderful thing & where there's love or strong emotions the connection is even greater....what fun to enjoy those moments again.

    Thanks for sharing,



  4. Yes, the emotions are gifts that remain with the memories...treasures for life:)

  5. What a wonderful memory, thanks for sharing this. Anyone who reads this can relate -- I certainly can.

  6. Glad you can relate...felt good to express it:)

  7. Erana Love and writing are the kindling that ignites our senses and passions. Keep it close and enjoy the new journey, touch, smell and texture it has inscribed upon your heart and your writing.

  8. Beth,

    You have a poet's heart and eloquence:)

  9. Sometimes the past catches up with us in the least unexpected (or maybe the most suitable) moment and makes us smile. But you are right, sometimes memories should remain memories... gifts for life :)

  10. Lena,

    I find myself drawing more and more on memories as inspiration for my blog:)

  11. This is very sweet, Mommy. I think we often stumble upon treasures (such as old letters) when we need them most.
    Christos won my heart through his letters to wasn't just his kick-ass coffee. :)

  12. Well your husband is a man of many talents:) You are making loving, lifetime memories together.

  13. Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading more interesting topics, maybe about pearl necklace or jewelry on your blog.