March 2, 2008
My Dearest Michael,
Do you not know how I think of you? Early, often, and with a smile.
It’s Sunday morning. Early. And you are on my mind. My bed is warm, my house is clean, my dog is sleeping, my coffee is perfect and the only thing missing from this perfection is you.
Perhaps it was that good night call. It’s always a pleasure to hear your voice but it is especially sweet knowing that we are both in the bed - about to go to sleep. It feels so much more like we’re in the same place than when we talk and you’re going down and I’m getting up.
I felt you this weekend. Since I saw you last, you’ve just kind of stayed in my heart. Never far from my thoughts or my dreams. But this weekend was special. Even though you are so far away physically, I felt you close in my heart.
It pleased me to be in a circle of inspiration with you. You encouraged me Friday to get out - experience life - celebrate Leap day. So I took a stroll through the National Portrait Gallery and I had a great time. Seeing the portraits, reading the descriptions, getting up close and personal and getting lost in the representations of our Nation’s previous leaders, thinking about how in a matter of months, we will elect a new leader - and just the powerful, historical perspective... It was fun, educational and enriching. And I never would have gone if you hadn’t encouraged me. So, thank you.
Then Saturday, it pleased me to hear the smile in your voice as you shared with me that you had been painting. Yes, I could hear your smile! And that sigh - I know that sigh. You sounded inspired and refreshed. I couldn’t wait to get home and see your creations.
As I looked at the two watercolors - “Apple, Cheese & Milk” and “Orange” - I was giddy. Smitten. Another layer of the onion is peeled off and I get to sense your core in a new way. I loved looking at the paintings - but even more, I loved reading your account of how it just flowed out of you. Doesn’t it just feel splendid to be poured out so? Aaahh, Worship. Spirit. Truth. I think it’s a marvelous honor that God shares a bit of what it’s like to create with us. To create something, experience it and then be able to step back and say - it is good.
And I loved the happy accident of the green plate. I think that was my favorite part of all.
I don’t know why I’m writing this in letter form - other than the fact that at the Portrait Gallery I was looking at a bunch of love letters from the 1800s and I thought - what a beautiful form of communication between two people - so sad that it’s gotten lost in our time. So, this is my expression this morning - even though it isn’t written in beautiful Old English and it’s all stuff I think I said on the phone with you yesterday -- there are words on this paper... you know how I’ve been searching for words...
I adore you.
Apple, Cheese and Milk/by Michael Ritter
Orange/by Michael Ritter