Dear Rumpelstiltskin: A passage from The Art of Hearing Heartbeats:
Five thousand eight hundred and sixty-four days have passed since I last heard the beating of your heart. Do you realize how many hours that is? How many minutes? Do you know how impoverished a bird is that cannot sing, a flower that cannot blossom? How wretched a fish out of water?
It is difficult to write you, Mi Mi. I have written you so many letters that I have never sent. What could I tell you that you don't already know? As if we needed ink and paper, letters and words, in order to communicate. You have been with me through each of the 140,736 hours--yes, it has already been that many--and you will be with me until we meet again. (Forgive me for stating the obvious just this one time.) When the time comes, I will return. How flat and empty the most beautiful words can sound. How dull and dreary life must be for those who need words, who need to touch, see, or hear one another in order to be close. Who need to prove their love, or even just to confirm it in order to be sure of it. I sense that these lines, too, will never find their way to you. You have long since understood anything I might write, and so these letters are in truth directed to myself, meager attempts to still my desire.
When Julia Win's father disappears one morning without a trace, the day after her graduation from law school, her family is left unsettled and confused. It's not until a few years later that her mother finds a piece of the puzzle--an unmailed love letter to a Burmese woman named Mi Mi.
Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia puts her career and her life on hold to travel to the village where Mi Mi once lived. Her journey takes her to the small mountain village of Kalaw, where she is approached by a man who claims to know her father, and who seems to have an uncanny knowledge of Julia herself. Intrigued, she returns to meet him every afternoon and listen to his incredible tales of her father's youth--of his childhood blindnesss, his education at a monastery, and most of all, about his passionate relationship with a local girl.
At first Julia is unwilling to believe that the romantic boy in this poignant story has anything to do with her reticent father, but soon she can no longer withstand the almost mystical invoking of mysterious past events, entwined as they are with the influence of the stars and with a love larger than life.
The Art of Hearing Hearbeats is a magical and uplifting tale of hardship and resilience and the unyielding power of love to move mountains.
Your love is forever a part of me...as mine is yours...where no one is hurt, for love would not allow it...