With this said, I thanked Ross for his Christmas present to all of us, and he thanked me for unwrapping it so "skillfully," as he put it.
Sylvia said that we finally have something to celebrate that is worthy to be called a Christmas. "We celebrate our universal marriage defined by the highest sense of ZION; not a passive marriage, but an active marriage; not a small and isolated marriage, but a wide and all-embracing marriage; the marriage of mankind that Helen beheld in the form of the lateral lattice of hearts bound by out-flowing strands of love."
With this also, the time came for the white-board to be put away so that we could get at the rest of the presents that we all had prepared for one-another; presents of poetry; presents of songs; presents of love expressed in precious thoughts of admiration for the beauty of one-another and the beauty of the human soul; and of course other kinds of presents as well.
I had high hopes that day that Ross' discovery, his present for us all, would cause us to move forward, or at least rebuild our union as it had been in the early years, which had been profound in spite of the difficulties involved. Nothing of that sort had happened for years. Now, suddenly, a new beginning seemed to be dawning.
The years in the past had been years with too many trials and too few victories. Still, the storms that we had braved in the early times, often for lesser ideals, had made us stronger. In the early days we had rushed forward without reservation, sometimes without really knowing what we were doing. We had dared to overturn the whole world in a single day. We had dared to challenge the conventions of the world, as if it were in one giant leap. But then, gradually, we did the opposite and everything that we dared to create became lost.
What had happened to those days of great daring? What had happened to that brave woman, Antonovna Valentina Lisitov, who couldn't respond to me with the freedom that we both demanded, but neither of us had built a real foundation for, which became a failure that had kept us apart to the point that we couldn't even speak to one-another? Still, we had boldly dared to challenge all that in our letter. We had demanded the impossible then. Nothing of that enthusiasm had remained alive in me through all the intervening years as we got stock in our rut, and worse, and everyone got stuck with us. We had ground ourselves into a quagmire of apathy and hidden fear.
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