The last letter to Sam

I don’t even know whether he’s ever read it – it would be so like him, to send out last e-mails, turn off his computer, and live the last two weeks of his life offline, in the word.

Jul 17, 2013

My dear Sam,

What a gift!

I was astounded yesterday, not only by the over-the-limit-ed (per- and peri- the peras) generosity of the gift itself, but also by the gravity and graveness of what such a gift implied. Well, I got it still from your initial e-mail, but it only became real once the notebook was in my hands. So, yes, that’s why I had to call you – hate that awkward limiting of the phone talk, which doesn’t want to allow the un-said come to presence graciously as un-said, and instead provokes a sort of interrogative small talk that fails so miserably with matters that are big. Sorry about that – you probably figured out, that that was just a clumsy manifestation of my care. All that bluff of a grown woman as well, if someone can see through that, it would be you, eh?

But that was just that first Augenblick – the lightning, the flash, only now, feeling out your notebook in all those ways you taught me, the generosity of your gift is unfolding more and more, and here comes the rain. Ha-ha, guess what happened before I even started reading? I smelled it! Alas, my sense of smell if quite under-developed still, so I can’t tell whether it smells of you or your house. Turning the pages, I catch myself feeling out with my full palm the weaving of your writing – maybe like a recently-blinded person – feeling out what is there, but not understanding at all, what it means, and yet feeling it over and over, reading it with my hand – I guess, to touch the unsaid with a hand is even easier than in other ways – it is right there, so easily felt in the gaps between the lines, and even more so in the smoothness on the last unfinished pages. That touch and touching, Sam, shows so much clearer, than I could ever imagine or figure out otherwise, how much you mean to me. After just a few hours, this notebook already gives me so much gentleness and reassurance of your care. Seriously, the brilliance of this gift, which is so you through and through and through…

Looking back – you know, so many things I’d like to tell you, – about the amazing experiences of deepening Gelassenheit I’ve been feeling out this last India trip – letting be myself first of all, and the experience of Hölderlin’s all holy places being the same, and of the long (at least three times longer than the measured watch-time) and oh so full time that amazed me just a few weeks ago south of the border near Albany. I’ve been writing a lot in Ukrainian in the last half year, which is strangly new – haven’t been writing in Ukrainian for years.
Never mind the talking to you – just to hang out would be so nice. Remember that one term about five years ago, I think, when we used to go to that Greek place after class? On the first night, when I showed up to your class and you seemed surprised (?), you called Blue and told him where to find dinner at home, “I’ll hang out with a friend here” you said. That was the most flattering thing you’ve ever said about me – that you would call me your friend.
Now the time feels so sharp, I’d love to visit you, don’t know, maybe at some point I’ll even dare to ask.

I’m going away for a week-end to the States, I’ll probably try to give you a call sometime next week – hope you don’t mind, and if you do – you can just ignore it, I’ll understand, or tell me as much… And, again, if I can do anything for you – no matter how small or big, please do let me know.

Sorry for such a long e-mail.

Hang in there, OK?
Big hug,
M.

(20.6.1941-2.8.2013)

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