Saturday, May 26, 2012

Twin Souls in History, Part 5

     A few years ago, I read an interesting article about Mark Twain and his lifelong, though unfulfilled, love interest in a young woman he met when he was in his early 20s (you can read the article here). 

     He was docking a river boat in New Orleans when he glimpsed a young teenage girl named Laura Wright, probably around 14 years old, and his heart was instantly captivated.  They spoke a few times during the three days she was in New Orleans, but she remained a fixed point in his heart.  He tried to gain her hand in marriage during a visit he paid to her home two years later, but her mother disapproved, and nothing came of it. 

     Later, he received word that she had married another, and his world shattered.  He fled to the West, where he alternated periods of creativity with bouts of self-destructiveness.  He later married as well, to Olivia (Livy), and had two daughters.  Still, Laura continued to haunt his dreams.  In an essay which was published posthumously, entitled "My Platonic Sweetheart," he mused about their relationship.  He believed that they met nearly every night during their dreams. In his essay, he wrote of his feelings for her: 

“The affection which I felt for her and which she manifestly felt for me was a quite simple fact; but....It was not the affection of brother and sister—it was closer than that...and it was not the love of sweethearts, for there was no fire in it. It was somewhere between the two, and was finer than either, and more exquisite, more profoundly contenting.”  

     In her later years, Laura, then a school teacher working for a pittance, contacted Twain, asking for money for one of her students to attend medical school.  After Twain died, she showed an acquaintance her trove of letters from the famous writer, and made the man promise that he would destroy them upon her death.  Sadly, he did.    

     What is the Twin Soul lesson here?  I believe it is that our Twin Souls may not be of a romantic nature, but may act as a catalyst to do our very best work, to fulfill our destiny, and to assist others. 

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