Each person's story of love is precious, priceless and unique. A person's story of love with another is one that is shaped and molded over time. Relationship is built upon shared experiences and intimacy arises from this foundation as the communion of a million and one things becoming more perfectly aligned into a single thought of love.
Many people's story of love feels as if it has already been written and is observed as a memory gone by. It is something that has happened and begs to be recorded lest it escape into the recess of old age and forgetfulness. It is a thing of beauty that one mounts in a shadow box of pages and ink to be kept for ages to come. In this way one is able to look upon the beauty of their love with special fondness even long after memory has faded.
Others are at the stage in their love story where the mundane and the necessary seem to sap the life from love and passion. Familiarity, while giving some sense of security amidst predictability, very often breeds contempt and love seems to lose the glimmering sheen of new-found love. Soccer games and parent/teacher conferences, business meetings and road trips, fights and quarrels, poverty, illness and the unexpected hiccups of life seem to make love a hard reality to hold onto as a pleasant thought--much less a pleasant reality.
Thoughts and frustrations are best skimmed off the top of the heart and left on paper lest they brew and fester into a toxic poison. "The pen is the crowbar of the soul" it has been said and writing very often can help a soul free itself in order to see what it is truly saying. The pages of a journal are frequently the battle grounds over which matters of love and its continuation are fought.
It is here that I find myself, though my battle is not over the continuation of love but over its absence.
My love story has already found its beginning but I have not yet met my love. This is a hard place to be within the crafting of ones love story. There are feelings of confusion, discouragement, disappointment, hurt and rejection and the all too familiar feeling of loneliness. For many years I focused on all of these things but the only thing that they did for my life of love that I longed for was to drag it down.
While in the middle of a conversation at a party about seven years ago group of my friends and I were discussing relationships. One member of the group, a woman, lamented over the fact that so few men understood women. I, being an opinionated male (there being no shortage of us) blurted out, "Ha! We understand you a lot better than you may think." It would seem as if this was not the wisest thing to do at a party...especially when I was surrounded by the very creatures I had so boldly proclaimed to understand. They put me to the test and I very quickly found out, much to my chagrin and embarrassment, (but to their great joy and entertainment) that I knew next to nothing about the hearts and minds of women.
This new found fact drove me to thinking. How was I to have a relationship with a woman and romance her heart when I knew nothing about her or what the desires of her heart were? How was I to serve her in love if I had no idea what her needs were? I knew plenty of my wants and needs, this I knew for sure, I thought about them all the time and felt sorry for myself, but I had to admit that I knew nothing about the needs of my future love.
I began to write informally on this subject of love and relationships over the period of 1999 and 2000. I would jot a little something here and there about every two weeks or so but by the time 2001 came around I was writing fairly steadily--about two or three pieces a week.
I had come to realize that I was a very selfish person, full of insecurities, fears and doubts, and that I wanted more than anything to rid myself of these character flaws as best I could before I met my future love. The fight was on.
One of the greatest thrills to the heart of a woman is to have a man fight for her. This is one of the abiding themes throughout all love stories. A beautiful damsel in distress, locked away in a tower, a dragon and horrible danger barring the way, rescued by a noble knight or some variant of this tale seems to interject itself into almost all romantic tellings. Women's hearts desire this--not all do, but many, if not most do.
I wanted to fight for my future love but how to reveal my efforts to her without knowing her--or her I--became the abiding question. I soon happened upon the answer.
It is not an original idea, so I can claim no credit for it. I am a Christian and one day while reading my Bible I realized that all the stories, parables and histories contained therein were written down for me long before I was even alive. It was at this point that I decided to begin to write down my battle of love for my future wife.
I began to write entries in a journal that were addressed to "My future wife" in first person as if I were about to place them in an envelope and send them off. At first my expressions of love were halting and awkward at best and my handwriting was horrid. As I go back and read my original writings even I have a hard time reading them and I am the one who wrote them. Over time, though, the expressions of my thoughts and emotions have improved as well as my handwriting. It has been wonderful to see how love, if worked upon, will flower and grow in beauty.
Currently I have 3,720 pages of love letters written in book form to my future wife, about a thousand of which are written on journals from Epica. Within these books are contained hopes and dreams, struggles and frustrations and all of my adventures in learning to speak love to a woman's heart--my wife's heart in particular. They are my recorded battles in love fought over the love of my life.
My love story is begun. It is often heard between lovers, in profession of their deepest love for one another, that they will love each other forever. To love each other 'forever' is to have no end to their love. It is also to say, in the same breath, that their love has always been: forever has no beginning and it has no end. In writing to my future love I desire to show her that I have always loved her from even before I knew her. This is a forever love. I am fighting for her even now. Even while I have not known her I have fought for her. I pray that they will help ease the times she has spent while alone, wondering if ever she would meet the man that would love and care for her. I do not know her but this is the best way that I know how to serve her in love while waiting to meet her.
Thank you for such a wonderful medium upon which to write these professions of love. The books that I have written in of yours are my favorite. The overall craftsmanship adds to the romance of the book itself and will make a wonderful gift someday when I find this special woman. Thank you so much for playing a roll in the writing of my love. Your attention to detail and the quality of your work adds greatly to my efforts.
Again, thank you so very much and keep up the good work.
Elijah Allen Scheidler