To Willing Conflators Of Liv Ullmann And Jeremy Todd (first letter)

I am sitting here, my thoughts carrying me around the world and within myself, trying to record the voyage on my laptop.
I want to write about love – about being a human being – about lonlieness – about being a man.
I want to write about encounters with people that have changed my life.
I want to write about the accidental and deliberate.
I want to write about moments I regard as gifts, good moments and bad moments.
I don’t believe that the knowledge or experience that is part of me is any greater than what others have.
I’ve found confusion in the pursuit of dreams.  I keep acquiring new dreams and confusions in their place.  I’ve seen the reverse side of something that glitters.
It is not the Jeremy Todd others have perceived that I shall be writing about.  Some may think I have left out important facts about my life, but it has never been my intention to write an autobiography.
Ironically, this Not Sent Letters Project requires daily exhibition of thoughts and emotions.  Now I feel that I am afraid of revealing myself.  Afraid that what I write will leave me vulnerable and no longer able to defend myself.
I am tempted to embroider, to make myself and my surroundings appear nice to win the reader’s sympathy.  Or to blacken things, to make them more exciting.
It is as if I am not convinced that reality itself is of interest.
“There’s a young girl in me who refuses to die,” wrote the Danish woman author Tove Ditlevsen.
I live, rejoice, grieve, and I am always struggling to become grown up.  Yet every day, because something I do affects him, I hear that young boy within me.  He who many years ago was I.  Or who I thought was.
It is an eager and almost protesting voice, although at times faint and full of yearning or sorrow.  I don’t want to heed it, because I know it has nothing to do with my adult life.  But it makes me uncertain.
Some mornings I decide to live his life, be something other than what ordinarily is my daily role.  I snuggle close to my son before he is awake, feel his warm, peaceful breathing, and hope that through his I may become what I wished to be.
Looking back on what I remember of my childhood dreams, I see that they resemble many I still have, but I no longer live as if they were part of reality.
He who is in me and “refuses to die” is still hoping for something different.  No success satisfies him, no happiness hushes him.
All the time I am trying to change myself.  For I do know that there is much more than the things I have been near.  I would like to be on the way toward this.  To find peace, so that I can sit and listen to what is inside me without influence.
jeremy