The pipes are silent.

I miss her most in these dark solitary hours.

My Catherine.

Does she ever think … “My Vincent” …

Wonder what I feel … for her …

What she … might feel … for me …

From what insanity … delusion … idiocy … come these temptations!

I am not for her. I am unfit for any woman.

Still … my heart is hers. I cannot take it back. It continues … or it withers … with her.

There are times that I am centered in these feelings … steady and calm and sure.

And there are countless more times that I am completely unsettled by them … wavering on a precipice of disbelief and despondency.

I love as other men … though without the hope of other men … the hope of one day sharing in love.

And yet the dreams are mine. They are my gift and my torture. I cling to them with all … whatever 'all' may be … that I am.

Our first Valentine’s Day is nearly here. How shall we know it …

What gift will I offer …

My … love?

I am deranged … truly ….

I must concentrate on other things …

The children have been working with generous intensity and tender insight, creating loving missives for the adults in our extended family here Below. Examples of their thoughtful kindness have come to me at my desk and I found three beneath the bed pillows last night. Two appeared today in the pockets of my shirt. One decorated my dinner plate this evening and another was tucked beneath my journal.

I consider that one as I write: The young artist has outlined a bright red heart upon which Catherine’s initials are crayoned within a capital V. This child knows … wishes … for us … for me …

It’s no use. There is no distraction. Tonight I am compelled to write, here, where her eyes will never read it, a Valentine thought, an image of my love for her, in my poor art …words.


Acclaimed poets, celebrated writers, any who have penned tales of affection and love, touch not the fringes of my feelings for you. They cannot … for they are not … me.

Part of what I feel for you is gratitude. You have befriended … me … you honor … me … with every visit … and with the glad surprise that lights in your eyes each time I come to you … I think I may have a greater capacity for gratitude than other … men.

I offer it to you.

Part is … love. I do love you, Catherine. Forbidden … I know that … yet what help is there for me? I am what I am. I feel what I feel. Perhaps that means I
love … more intensely … truly … generously … selflessly … I who have no right …

I place my love before you.

I expect no return in kind.

I might dream … but I do know the being that looks at you through my eyes, with a heart so hungry. I know what he … is …

You are to me a prism of colors unnamed, come to illumine my shadowed existence … the call in my heart to live whole and human.

I look from a distance at love’s celebration … and I see you there … only you …

Catherine …

Am I invited?

H, this is yours


  1. Nancy, it's always a delight to check your site and find a new fic from you waiting for me, here, closed, secret and safe.

    I think Vincent has tremendous capacity for the Agape and Storge love styles, though you threw a dash of Eros in for a hint of spice. Lovely, simple words, put together in a new, pleasing configuration.

  2. Brandy, you honor me with your compliments. Thank you very much.

  3. Lovely!


  4. Claire, thank you so much!!! Nancy

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