Sometimes I find myself missing literature that I have not and probably will not ever read. I find myself daydreaming of the non-existent day when some kind stranger returns the series of poems that my mother wrote and lent to a friend to read. I sit in the immaterialized section of reality hidden deep within my conscious to see the book of poems—forever lost—that I will never see.
I regard my mother as a brilliant writer able to make points, sway opinions, and write beautiful poetry and prose. She can spin stories with a pen out of thin air, but you can rarely capture her in the act. My mother said her love of writing poems died the day the book of poetry she wrote was lost under the guardianship of a friend who left them on an airplane. She would tell me that she had documented her entire life, up until that point, in prose.
Love letters and documented arguments with my dad, poems about songs, feelings about hard times, and preserved memories of better ones populated the notebook with hand-drawn eyes without a face, in reference to the Billy Idol song of the same name. She spoke about how she always wanted to pass the book down to her own children, but rather than getting to do so the carefully crafted letters from her heart have faded. The words, now forgotten, have become their own story.
After losing the hand-written letter that I had searched for throughout the entire year of 2018 from myself in the past addressed to myself in the future, I can only suffer a minuscule of the amount that my mother must have felt when she learned all of her work was gone forever. Unable to hear her own voice from her past and losing any desire to build upon the lost voice in the future.
I think about this, and I write the next letter to myself, anyway, still half searching for the letter that has probably fallen into the trash ages ago. I continue to preserve my voice for a future me who will always wonder what was written in the lost letter that existed before. Another part of me secretly wishes my mother will, once again, pick up the pen and do the same.