Realizations about Writing and Love

  • Posted on August 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm

By Cheryl Taggert

Writing is a solitary effort made in collaboration with everyone the writer has ever known. I know that sounds odd, but it’s true. I have come to realize that my best work, such as the final chapter of Nanny for a Night, is such a collaboration. Other works that I consider my best writing (not necessarily the most erotic), always involve someone else in my mind. They are there on an emotional level.

Oddly, I want to thank my parents for “Finding My Sister,” for it was their cruelty when I came out and the fact I am an only child that contributed to that story. The character of “my” father in the story is my father in real life. That’s how I imagine his behavior would be if he had such news to give me.

Midnight Awakening in Amherst” was the first story in which the “real” Lisa was a part of a story I was writing. I had named characters after her, but this is Lisa in that story, which is actually non-fiction. It is a description of a night we shared years ago when we were first dating and living together. I was so touched by what had happened the night before, I wrote it the following day. I won’t go into details about how our lives came to separate back then because it is still very painful for me. The best part, however, is that no matter how stormy our relationship got back then, we are together now. She is my wife, and I am hers. Legally. Legitimately. Lovingly.

I come to that final chapter of the Nanny series frequently and re-read it. (It is linked in the first paragraph.) I am not bragging, but this is perhaps the best chapter I have ever written. It could be terribly written by professional standards, but it is the best of my writing. Only the two stories linked above come close. And both of them involve something that causes me to feel intense emotions as well. I am realizing it is the emotion that empowers my writing and raises the level of my craft a notch or two. (I am young as a writer, so to those who’ve been writing for a while and are saying something like “duh,” please indulge my naivete.) It’s more difficult to write chapters like this one, but the result is worth the increased effort.

With this in mind, I have decided to write an open letter to my wife. It is a love letter. Every letter of it. Every punctuation mark. Sorry for the self-indulgence, but I am feeling particularly romantic right now and feel my wife deserves this. She knows I am totally open about myself and our love, and though I know she will be slightly embarrassed I put this out there for the world to see, she will also be proud. I expect it will make her cry. That’s okay. I’m crying right now as I think about what I will write.

My Dearest Lisa — my Lover — my Wife — my Desire in Human Form,

It’s odd that I am a writer but can never seem to express the depth of my love for you in words, but I will try.

Imagine you are standing on the ocean’s shore. You are looking out at the water. The water you can see is the surface only. There is quite a bit of surface in view. You think it is an abundance of water. But that vastness of the ocean’s surface is the love you can comprehend only. The love I feel is all of the water beneath the surface. It is the incomprehensible part of the ocean. It represents the depth of my feeling for you. You cannot see the water beneath that surface, but you know it is there. You cannot conceive its abundant depth. Compared to what you can see and understand of the vastness of that ocean, the water beneath the surface makes that surface seem minuscule in comparison. That water beneath is my love for you when compared to the love you can understand.

Now, it is night. Darkness enfolds you. The city lights are far away, and the night sky is painted with countless points of light that glimmer and wink at you. Again, there are too many stars to count, but there are more out there you cannot see. All of them are part of our own galaxy, but there are more galaxies out there than there are visible stars you see. And each galaxy has billions of stars. Billions. Like the water beneath the ocean’s surface, the stars in all the galaxies of the universe are a part of the true measure of my love when compared to the love you can understand — those visible stars.

Not only that, but you can also see one star that is so distant and faint you can barely make it out. It teases you with its seeming nearness and tininess. It is so far away that the light you see was cast forth from that star long before Columbus sailed and discovered a new world for the unaware people of so-called civilization to explore. Yet that distance represents what you understand of my love for you. The distance to the farthest galaxy represents the enormity of my love.

Now add all of these ideas together. That is how much I love you. Or at least it comes close.

I am not saying you cannot comprehend my love for you while I can. The truth is I can’t comprehend it any more than you. Like you, all I can do is feel it. I am saying that grasping the meaning of such a measurement is an impossible task for anyone to undertake because even if it were measured, the full meaning behind that measurement would be incapable of being understood, like the amount of whole numbers when counting. No matter how high a computer can count, there is always that number plus one. The infinite range of numbers, the distance to the farthest galaxy, the unbelievable number of stars in the universe, the tremendous amount of water in the ocean below the surface we see — these are all totally incomprehensible to the human mind.

Like my love for you.

Cheryl

I hope this isn’t too self-indulgent. I am just a girl in love. Forgive me if you found reading it was a waste of your time. Writing it wasn’t a waste of mine.

26 Comments on Realizations about Writing and Love

  1. Cheryl says:

    I will have to discuss it with Lisa, and I’m in the middle of tying up some of my other series right now, so it will be a while, perhaps as long as a year before I can get to that, but we’ll see.

  2. CaptainMidnight says:

    Definitely discuss it with Lisa and decide what you want to do. What can be more intimate than writing about how you met and fell in love with your wife? But then again, what can be more heartwarming?

  3. CaptainMidnight says:

    It must be sometime near your birthday, and I hope you and your wife will have a special day together. Probably every day is special to you two, but I hope you grow and stay in love.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Actually, we took a four-day weekend! We just got back today, and I must return to work tomorrow (Lisa as well).

  5. Rick says:

    I disagree about an intimate story of your having met your wife, Lisa. It seems to me it would be like giving away the intimate knowledge of yourself and your loved one. As a writer you deal in a largely fictional world of fantasy and to mix that talent by opening up the real life story that belongs to you two alone, seems to cheapen that privacy. You wouldn’t open your and Lisa’s legs for the world to see in real life, why would you give up the information that only two now know? I love your writings….R

  6. Cheryl says:

    Rick, thank you for writing this. I’m glad you like my writings.

    I don’t believe I have or would cheapen my relationship with Lisa. First, I would never write anything that involves her and publish it online without her permission. Second, I share the intimacies to show that love is a beautiful thing, even when it is real life and not fictional love. I openly and happily love my wife, and she openly and happily loves me. She loves that I share our experiences online. She also loves that I often fictionalize our relationship in my stories, such as in “Nanny for a Night.” We are both exhibitionists in our own way. And to be honest, we have each flashed in public, so actually, yes we would open our legs for the world to see.

    Furthermore, the fact that I have a life separate from the life of Cheryl Taggert (Taggert is NOT my last name) makes it easier to tell about my real life experiences. I am a teacher of 7th grade English/Language Arts, and if the real world found out about my alter-ego, my life would be destroyed.

    Now, all that said, any story involving how the two of us met in real life would be fictionalized quite heavily anyway. The truth is we met in college at a party and hit it off. Our first sexual encounter was good, but no better than most people’s in real life. There was some awkwardness on both our parts. Both of us were experienced with lesbian sex, but I have to say it wasn’t all skyrockets and champagne. We ended up laughing about it later, in fact. Finally, we broke up for a while and didn’t get back together again until last year, so our relationship has not been without its problems. We are very happy together now, and that’s what matters.

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