Perhaps it is this spirit of Christmas overflowing (that has me well into my third box of cards, still managing to write at least a few lines for each) that has me wanting to write a love letter to you all. Of course, that would not be quite proper -- I'm sure that many of you are married or otherwise monogamous, and it might well make your partner nervous to know that strange women were writing you love letters (do they even know that you read these words? Is it something you share, or a secret, guilty pleasure? ah well -- I suppose I can be the girl on the side, for you).
But I do desire to do the appropriate thing, and so I shall circumscribe my desires; I shall not invite you to come for a celebratory visit -- you are probably too far away to arrive by teatime in any case. And my larder is sadly bare, since I myself will be departing in a few days and I do not want to leave food to rot on the refrigerator shelves -- a sodden half-dish of trifle, some egg salad and rye bread that I will finish for dinner tonight. Hardly appropriate food for guests.
I will not ask for your impressions of this journal, over the last few months, or years. They would be lovely, but I know myself well enough to know that I would likely not give them the answer they deserve. I would neglect them shamefully (a habitual failing of mine) and in any case, as Jedediah reminded me last night, it is often considered ill-mannered for ask for what you desire.
It puts the asked in an awkward position, and I would never desire to cause you any awkwardness. I would rather fill your days with pleasure and delight -- or if you not your days (rather unrealistic, I know), then a few brief moments here and there...and if not pleasure and delight, then at least amusement or distraction. I would probably even settle for being a mode of procrastination...I have no pride, you know.
I fear this is turning into a love letter after all; I should pull away my fingers, lift them from the keyboard and sternly turn them to washing greasy dishes that have been lingering in my sink for days. But I will say one thing before I go -- that I am grateful for you. You have lifted me up when I was down, rejoiced with me in my joys and shared my fears and sorrows. You have waited patiently for my erratic words, and had faith that they would indeed be ongoing. At times I was sure that faith would not be rewarded -- indeed, at the beginning, I thought this journal would last only a few days -- weeks, at most. But you have stayed with me, and so it has continued, for four years! Astonishing! I know that without you, I would have fallen into silence long ago.
Thank you for keeping me writing, my dears.