May 22, 2016

Dear Timothy,

Please let me apologise for the delay in my response. When you’ve been given time, eternal amounts of it, it passes quickly and is spent on nothing. Any amount of work, no matter how pleasurable, seems not a waste but neither is it urgent.

I’m going to leave off on our semantic discussion about death. While an interesting subject, it bears little weight on our conversation, introductory as it is. If it should come up again, in a different, more interesting context, I’ll be happy to discuss it again.

I’ve also got little to say about your desire for death at such a young age. I should hope that your experiences in what life you have left brings value to the life you have already lived. Life and death are substantially different in their finality.

On the topic of women and love, I must admit to being a fool. I did believe for most of my young adult life that being in love was the most liberating experience. For my part, I was unable to wink at women.

My luck with women was dependent on dim lighting, lucky positioning, and alcohol. I caught a woman’s eye when she was looking at only one side of my face or if I was suffering from a fortunate twitch. I was not completely without charm, but it was such an unnatural state that it was unmaintainable. I was always looking past a woman or for a woman past.

I was never very zen in my life. Being happy in the present moment was predicated on the recollection of a happy experience or hope for a pleasant experience in the future.

Perhaps this should be my advice to you: don’t be ashamed to adopt Buddhist teachings. I always tried to think philosophically, thinking it the complete way to reach a conclusion. Maybe you should try to think simply. Don’t get caught up by the net sewn from details. Find an easy stream to swim in.

The world is a forgetful place. Remember this when it feels unforgiving.

That you write letters to people who, as you say, have obituaries written about them may be because you are not reading the letters that are readily available to you. By this I mean, you should read books. Even though I wrote, I read relatively little. My literary world was made up largely of a circle of my own words. You should be careful to not get caught in this same weir. I’m going to endeavour to find a library and I suggest you do the same.

Have you considered writing your own novel? It will give you a reason to create your own characters and interactions. Through these interactions, you’ll be able to explore your own perceptions of the world. You’ll be given the opportunity to discover new areas to research, growing your understanding of yourself. It’ll also give you something to do while waiting for my letters. I’d be interested in following your progress.

I must leave it there for tonight. Perhaps I’ll take a stroll and look for a lady to dance with.

BW

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