They entirely ignore the true context of the document. I can but hope that my humble efforts to preserve this meaning have succeeded.
Love is a strange thing. It reduces the sanest of men to blundering fools. Somehow when that inexplicable feeling comes over us we lose hold of our senses. What else, indeed, but madness could induce a man to behead a weed, strangle it with twine, and give it to a woman as a show of affection? Where can we find the rationality in comparing a woman to the blinding light and sweating heat of the sun, or to the wild, mindless beasts that live among us?
And where, I have asked but to receive no answer, is the sense in giving a woman a mass of land and comparing her to it? How in any way can this "sentiment" even be called by such a name?
It all began when she started thinking about legends. It's dangerous enough when a woman starts to think at all, but to be thinking of legends! Legends are strange in their own right. If love make a man do delusive things, legend make him see delusive things. And to fall in love with a legend is to set a course for illimitable trouble. Yet that's what she did.
They say the island exists somewhere in the seas to the west. They call it a Paradise. Those who go searching for it either find it and stay there, or die in the endeavor, which leaves me to wonder who brings the stories back, but she didn't care about that. She had already fallen in love, and there was no stopping her now.
Love makes a woman take actions as strange as a man. And if you had heard her repeat the tales of this legendary island where there was peace and prosperity, where there was no death and no danger, where the seasons were easy and the soil fertile, where predator and prey lived in harmony; where the sun always shone but never too hot, the wind always blew but never too cold, the waves wept the shore but never too loud, the rain fell when necessary but never too hard; where the days were long and the nights even longer, and strife and sorrow were inexistent; if you had heard with your ears, as had I with mine, the wistful, passionate way she had spoken of these things; and if you too had been captivated by her engaging loveliness, by the ebon ribbons of velvety hair, by the violet sheen of her soft lips, by the scintillation in her eyes, as any man living well would have been; then you would not scorn me for what I did.
And I promised her things. Mad things, absurd things. I promised I would find that island for her, and take her there to it, and build a city there, and that we would live out our lives in this Paradise. I promised I would name it all after her. I promised that I would love her until the end of my days.
And she kissed me then. I kissed her very warmly in return, for the first and last time. But I have since found myself meditating upon a thought I prefer not to entertain, as difficult as ignoring its urgent exhortation be. I wonder if it was truly me she kissed then . . . or my promise. And then I scold myself for even allowing the doubt to enter my mind.
And whether I intended to keep my vows or not I do not know. But I did. And so it was that before very much time had passed we commissioned our vessel and set sail.
I am a man given to misgivings. And the longer we sailed and the longer we searched, the greater a new misgiving became. What if we did find the island? What if it did exist? A Paradise such as this would not last for ever. If we found it, others would as well. Others with swords and spears and arrows and slings. The powers of the world would snatch at this new territory until it had been torn to shreds in the skirmish.
When I voiced my doubts to her, she answered simply, "Then we'll hide it." And when I asked How, she said, "We'll find a way." This was her answer to everything. How would we locate the island? "We would find a way." I think she laid too much stock in my abilities to achieve the impossible.
An example of this came later, when we had been searching for years to no avail. She became ill, and I insisted we make port until she recovered, but she refused to allow it. She would hear of nothing but our continued, uninterrupted questing. I asked her how she proposed to convalesce on the sea. Her answer, "I'll find a way."
And when she didn't, when her prevalent solution proved fallacious; and she lay on her deathbed, and I kneeled at her side; and I asked her how I would go on without her; can you guess what she said to me then?
"You'll find a way."
My love, rest peacefully. I swear, if this fabled island exists, I will find it, as I promised you. I will build there the city which I promised you. And I will hide it away from the cruel world that, should its callous hands seize the land, would so certainly defile it. I will find our Paradise. Though I failed to protect you, I will always protect our new home. On your memory I swear it, my sweet Atlantis. . . .
The authorities on such matters say that this could be a historical find. They say that centuries of legend and mystery may soon be cleared up.
But I say they are entirely missing the point. This was never meant to be a treasure map. It was never meant to clear up some mystery of a mystical land. It was merely meant to explore something even more mysterious and mystical as it existed within the author's heart. It was meant only to be what it is, for what else can it be? It is nothing more now than it ever was: a love letter.
Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith