To: a person who has influenced you the most – 30 days of OLW

​Dear O.,
It may seem odd that I’m writing to you. We’ve known each other for about six years, but we are no friends. For all this time, we remained mostly acquaintances and it is with regret that I say so. In this light it is probably surprising that I have chosen you for this piece, but although I thought about it a lot, there is probably no one else I’d like to write such a letter. Despite everything, you were a big influence for me – even if you do not know it.
Let’s trace the story of our non-history, which began around 2010 when both ended up in the same website, writing about more or less the same things and with more or less the same interests. We never became close, but I always respected you. I held you in high regard because of the wisdom that you shared freely with everyone and I, a newbie thirsty with knowledge, couldn’t but be grateful for it. Most of all, I saw in you something that was akin to what I felt: a longing for a world that does not exist, a longing for “home”.
Between my seventeenth and eighteenth, reading your words helped me gain a better insight of polytheism and paganism, of magic and the occult. I learned a lot from what you said, but I also learned something more than notions: your attitude helped me standing on my own feet, your eagerness to not let other take you as someone who held the truth, your understanding of others, your patience in explaining.
I looked at you as someone I aspired to be: gentle, yet firm. Knowledgeable and wise, kind and compassionate. I probably saw the best part of you. I probably saw what I needed to see at that time, leaving out all the things I don’t know or can’t imagine about your life. My portrait of you probably isn’t complete and I’m sure that you would believe I’m stupid for thinking such things of you.
I cannot decide what to feel, however. On my path, there are not many people who influenced me, but my experience with you – albeit indirect – helped me become a better person and maybe even a better practitioner.
If you can, accept at least that. Although not much, it is still a beautiful thing to have such an impact on other people’s lives. If you can mean that much to a stranger, imagine how important you are to those you love.


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