I see that you are still reading these words. Apologies are in order, as before and again and again and again. It was naive of me to believe that somehow this would be a small place that everyone had forgotten about and where I could take my final refuge without fear of hurting anyone. I am certain it has taken a great deal of restraint for you to read these at all, and I tip my hat at you for that. Perhaps you might remember that week in Birya where things were wonderful, yet the vixen interrupted as she always did, and my rage was unleashed upon the world for a single moment, as my shadow does. After that I didn't want to speak my feelings to anyone anymore, lest I hurt the vixen or provoke an argument. I am at that place in the cycle once more, where I would prefer to leave well enough alone so that other people can live their lives without worrying about a hopeless dreamer.
I do not wish to hurt anyone anymore, not by my words, my deeds, my thoughts, my feelings, or my presence. This is why I have removed myself from public life and retreated to my workshop, locked the door, and for the most part, thrown away the keys. (Perhaps, conversely, I do not wish to be hurt in return, but as I've spoken before, life hurts me every day, whether I wish it or no.) But the need still sings in my soul to at least write down what I have somewhere, somewhere far away from where it will trouble anyone else.
Please allow this old fool one place to be true. This is my refuge, the place I will allow myself to be myself, to speak what I wish to speak without concern of pain or retribution. The prison is the sanctuary, because at least in the prison the disease I have has a chance of being contained.
Please remember the wonderful moments. I do, from time to time, like snowglobes containing little pieces of joy. You of all people should realize the victory you obtained in that alone.
I shall not pass from this earth without fighting every fight I can extract from these bones. I will not yield in doing what I believe in. I can do nothing less in tribute to those souls I've left behind.
I wish I could say with all truth that I deserved your respect in this. I was not so well-behaved as you've credited me, for which I'm somewhat embarrassed and somewhat ashamed.
My heart is... conflicted. I would, if you wished it, give you a place where your words could be free and your thoughts unencumbered. You deserve and should rightfully demand such a space, even if it's just pages in an old journal. There must always be that last inch of uncorrupted, uncompromised self, and I have no desire to take that from you. I would also, if you wished it, remain and read the words written here, if only so that there is some sense that you aren't simply shouting into the maelstrom, or worse into silent space. I do not know whether my presence or my absence would be the bigger problem, and so I ask you to please bid me which will make you most comfortable, so that I can grant you what dignity you deserve.
Let me help you preserve your sanctum. What is it you would have me do?
I wish that you could be with me, even though I know in my heart that cannot be so for half a dozen reasons. I miss your touch, your care, and your simple joie de vivre. I did not and do not wish to hurt or harm you. But I also do not know how to go back, either to where you were then or where you are now.
You have earned my respect, whether you deserve it or not. You were my apprentice, much like the vixen was, once upon a time, herself. You did what no one else could do. You moved me, in the emotional even more than the physical. You told me that there was more to aspire to than mere rote satisfaction. The fact that later events conspired... well. I do not need to be charitable to say that we didn't know or understand what it was we had done. I believe it is that simple. I also can't pick up all the pieces and say that I am whole again - I am not. But nor am I going to remove all credit from you for a mistake neither of us understood.
I will not let the last 5 years be for nothing, even if I feel that I am back now where I was then. Come April, I will try to celebrate again what was. I am trying to heal; this old journal is part of that. Your presence is welcome, here as in all things remaining.
Please stay, if your heart will allow you to without wincing and blaming yourself every time I cry out in pain. I myself still cry thinking of you, as I was when I opened this book again, and am yet again now. I cannot help it.
If you cannot stay, I understand and still wish you well. But I refuse to banish you from my life myself. I only wish you safety, from me if nothing else.
(P.S. Perhaps you might remember that it was your embarrassment and your shame that drew some of the best out of you before. You wrote about it, did you not?)