Friday, August 26, 2011

but fortunately i still have the stars left

Letter To Youki

My love,

Our suffering would be unbearable if I couldn’t regard it as a passing and sentimental illness. Our reunion will make our life beautiful for at least thirty years. For my part, I’m taking a deep swig of youth, and I will return filled with love and strength. During work a birthday, my birthday was the occasion for a long meditation on you. Will this letter reach you in time for your birthday? I would have liked to give you a hundred thousand American cigarettes, a dozen couture dresses, an apartment on the rue de Seine, an automobile, a little house in the Compiègne forest, the one on Belle Isle and a little four-penny bouquet. In my absence, you can go ahead and buy the flowers. I will repay you for them. The rest I promise you for later.

But before all else, drink a bottle of good wine and think of me. I hope our friends won’t leave you alone on this day. I thank them for their devotion and their courage. I received a package from Jean-Louis Barrault about a week ago. Kiss him on the cheek for me as well as Madeleine Renaud, as the package is a proof that my letter did arrive. I have not received a reply, but I’m waiting for one every day. Kiss the whole family for me, Lucienne, Tante Juliette, Georges. If you meet Passuer’s brother, give him my regards and ask him if he knows anyone who can come and help you. What’s new with my books at the press? I have many ideas for poems and novels. I’m sorry that I have neither the freedom nor the time to write them. You can, however, tell Gallimard that within three months of my return they will receive the manuscript for a love story in an entirely new genre. I am closing for today.

Today, the 15th of July, I receive four letters, from Barrault, Julia, Dr. Benet, and Daniel. Thank them and excuse me for not having replied. I have the right to only one letter a month. Still nothing from your hand, but they do give me news of you; this will be for next time. I hope that this letter is as our life to come. My love, I kiss you as tenderly as honorability permits in a letter which must be passed by the censor. A thousand kisses. And have you received the little hope chest that I sent to the hotel in Compiègne?


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my life and the things i hold dear. Photos© Niki Livingston all photos that are not my own are used for inspiration only.