Dear Running Mother

Hey I finally got around to your letter. I’m not sure if you’ll immediately understand this is to you, but I simply couldn’t think of an extremely unique nickname for you that already exists. But it’s a little true, you were and are a very active protective figure to those of us that ran with you. In the best way, you don’t promote activities that are bad for us, and you worry when you think there is no reason for doing something that inhibits or disrupts our minds or bodies. Your worry is not overbearing, nor annoying, nor unappreciated or from a bad place. You worry because you see the good in all of your friends, and you want them to continue being good.

We have had many extended conversations before, and I’m so glad we have. We’ve talked about religion, drugs, and relationships (well, normally our current ones instead of the real concept of one or what we want out of one) and every time I learn how to better explain myself. Every time we talk extensively, I become better.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for your curiosity. Thank you for being good.

When we talked about relationships, do you remember some of the things I said? You are simply beautiful, and even if you know it deep down you seem to reject that idea, always insisting I should stop and so on. It’s funny, because I don’t know how you should feel about your own beauty,,, which may be weird to say, but it becomes very important to your internal image and your psychology. It’s the utmost truth that you could have whatever man you wanted based purely off your looks,, but one must understand that when one takes advantage of that they become something else. Sometimes one becomes more sinister,, after continuously going after those who only like your looks and feeling unsatisfied when they realize how unfulfilling that can be. Sometimes they start to see the misfortunes of the beautiful. But this has not become a reality for you. You stay committed to who you are, and you keep a close watch of those that have given their time to you and who you feel need to be given some time from anyone.

The only reason why I feel sad about this, is because I know how it feels to constantly give. How rare it sometimes feels to have whatever stresses or problems of yours heard out in earnest, or the genuine curiosity or concern that you might feel you give to others. Or how it feels to see others that you’ve been friends with for years and have helped and aided, progress or have relationships that you don’t have. I don’t know if you feel this way, but I know I did. I know I wanted to have a relationship for the sole purpose of feeling like I’m cared about, having a dedicated listener who wants to grow with me and stuff. It’s something I think makes everyone happy and better, and it’s something I want for you.

That’s why I want to constantly remind you how beautiful you are. How you can charm and enthrall whoever you choose by being confident in your looks and in your words. It might sound stupid but it can be really easy to get someone to fall for you if you do it well, and women are much better and have a much higher success rate than men do. There are many quality people you surround yourself with, and I think it’s always fun/funny to test the waters sometimes. Maybe if your opinion about relationships fits a deep desire to be listened and understood more often like that, then maybe you could use some of your magic charms on some bois and see where it goes ya know? Might as well got nothing to lose, it’s completely risk free to at least picture yourself with someone and try to figure out what would make it work out and why.

I really do hope the best for you, my friend. We may not have talked about our career aspirations in extremely high detail, but I do enjoy talking about these facets and important parts of life with you. And drugs has very much been one of these facets that we’ve talked about in relatively high detail, but I suppose I haven’t told you in the best of words why.

I have talked to you about them so many times, because I, like you, did not believe in using drugs frequently or for fun. However, over the course of nearly two years I have changed my mind. I think wede can be used for its subtle effects, that one cannot truly understand until they have smoked. It calms me, allows me to much more easily slow down and think certain things through without much distraction or overwhelming thoughts. It makes food taste better and music much more fun. It can be used as an excellent bonding tool, I know I love to smoke with new people just for the sake of getting to talk to them about the experiences we’ve had with it, which can become very telling of that person. I don’t know how to say it but I hope we can get to smoke together, for at least the reason of you understanding what it’s like. But I understand the idea of one never being able to come back from doing something like that. Your hesitancy is understandable but misguided. This kind of change is not for the worst, it is simply a change, one that you can control the amount of. It’s something that has helped me be happy easier and I’m curious to how you would take it.

It’s kind of funny to me when I think about how you took me to Southland for Easter Sunday mass. Not that it was incredibly bad but it’s just the fact that a friend invited me to their church just to see what I think of it. I wasn’t sure if you were really taking me just so I could get some Jesus in me and so you can try to convert me to Christianity in some way, but I mostly do not believe that is the case. Your demeanor and attitude during and after the mass did not make me worry that you were worried for my soul or whatever else is normal that makes people want to convert others to their religion. You seemed to truly be interested in what I might think about the experience. I remember taking heavy notes during the whole thing, but alas my mind has forgotten the details. I do remember having an overwhelming reminder how religious institutions began, and how something as simple as preaching the teachings of a small group of people have created a large imprint on societal thought and morals. How words and ideas created great buildings and amassed large followings over thousands of years.

I will never be able to take religious stories seriously. I will never be able to believe that the Earth was created in seven days by an entity called God that has created everything and has a master plan about everyone’s lives or that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified and locked in a cave with a boulder in front of it. I don’t think I will ever believe that, and since it’s so important to the message of religious institutions (the literal stories), I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself religious. BUT, I do find great fascination in a metaphorical interpretation of Bible, and most other religious texts I’m sure. I think when broken down to their basic core messages, they bring about great wisdom about the human condition and provide warnings about societal habits. Something like the idea of original sin is interesting to me in this context, because I think it could be interpreted as whoever trying to say that people are born shitty because it’s easy to disregard and hurt others and be selfish and only take what you want,,, but then only through faith and dedication that people are good and you being faithful towards something good will you be “restored in the eyes of God” or “you’ll be right with the universe” or “you’ll be treated and looked upon godly”. I like ideas like that, and I think telling a story about there being a real god that will actually decide things for you and actively takes an interest in some of the affairs of humans (which sects of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam actually disagree upon) makes a much more believable story and reason for many follow. The basic and unquestioning logic that if you follow these teachings you’ll be able to go to a pleasant afterlife is often enough for many to follow, but I’ve been disinterested in that for a long time. So I’m finding my own ways to enjoy the teachings of religion. And I’m not the first I’ve found, so it’s been fascinating and enlightening to read about what differing philosophers believe. Maybe you’ll have to read about them too.


I’m excited to see where you will go, friend. I feel I’ve seen you grow, and I’m sad you’ll be moving away, even if it’s not far. Let’s get some more coffee this summer, I do so enjoy our talks.


Your friend,

Italia Burke


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