Prurient, I know, but here are Mark Sanford’s love letters to his Argentinian sweetheart (who doesn’t have a spell check facility). The letters come courtesy of “The State,” “South Carolina’s Largest Newspaper.” They read like a Harlequin romance. But the poor man is smitten:
“The State” offers the following preface: “E-mails, obtained by The State newspaper in December, between Gov. Mark Sanford and Maria, a woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At the time, efforts to authenticate the e-mails were unsuccessful. However, Sanford’s office Wednesday did not dispute their authenticity.
The State has removed the woman’s full name and other personal details, including her street address, e-mail address and children’s names.
McClatchy special correspondent Angeles Mase on Wednesday visited the 14-story apartment building in Buenos Aires where the woman lives, according to the e-mails, which included her address. A woman at the address answered to the name in the e-mails and, at first, agreed to speak to a visitor, but she declined after the visitor identified herself as a reporter.
Shown a photograph of Sanford, the doorman at the building said he did not recognize him. According to the doorman, the woman has two sons, one a teenager of driving age and the other younger. The e-mails refer to the woman’s two sons.”
From: Mark Sanford
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2008 03:09:44 +0000
You are glorious and I hope you really understand that. You do not need a therapist to help you figure your place in the world. You are special and unique and fabulous in a whole host of ways that are worth a much longer conversation. To be continued …
Have been having a few email problems as I am getting email through an aircard at the farm, where access to computer world is more than tough. Please let me know if you have gotten my last two eamils (sic) so I know it is working in getting to your part of the world …
Another glorious day outside. Hope you are doing well, and am anxious to hear about your week. Know that I miss you. Unbeleivably (sic) hard to imagine it has been a week. Please also send your mailing address as I want to send you an insignificant something next week when I am back in civilization that I think you might find interesting given our conversation.
Want to write an indepth note with some thoughts on our visit when I know you are getting these emails. Hugs and much love. M
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 4:26 PM
To: Mark Sanford
My beloved, (hope you also change the dearest …)
I’am (sic) reading your last two mails sitting outside with a great seaview here in Ilhabela, a beautiful island near Sao Paulo. Have been thinking of you while watching the beautiful blue sea (a) great part of my day and remembering with a great smile on my face, the time we had spent together. As I told you before, you brought happiness and love to my life and (I) will take you forever in my heart. I wasn’t aware till we met last week, the strong feelings I had for you, and believe me, I haven’t felt this since I was in my teen ages, when afterwards I got married. I do love you, I can feel it in my heart, and although I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to meet again this has been the best that has happened to me in a long time You made me realized (sic) how you feel when you realy (sic) love somebody and how much you want to be beside the beloved. Last Friday I would had stayed embrassing (sic) and kissing you forever.
Don’t know why you think you bore me with the description of your farm. I am an urban girl but that doesn’t inhibit me from loving other things, specially if they are the ones you love. I was able to imagine the place with every single detail you wrote and had trassmitted (sic) me the love you have for your farm. It sounds to be a great and peaceful place and loved you had shared it with me.
Thanks for your beautiful words, I don’t know if I do need or not therapy but I have to find my new place in this new stage of my life. Life has been very generous with me and I want to return at least a little bit of what I have been given. I have time and think helping others who haven’t been as lucky as me will do me fine.
My address is (deleted by The State). It will be great finding at home once I am back, whatever you send me, I’ll keep it near my bed so as to feel you nearer.
Miss you so much… love you from the deepest of my heart. Sweet kisses.
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 01:42:46 -0400
Beloved back to you…
Got back an hour ago to civilization and am now in Columbia after what was for me a glorious break from reality down at the farm. No phones ringing and tangible evidence of a day’s labors. Though I have started every day by 6 this morning woke at 4:30, I guess since my body knew it was the last day, and I went out and ran the excavator with lights until the sun came up. To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the background, the tranquility that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds — and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt. It is admittedly weird but one of my more favorite ways of escaping the norms, constant phone calls and formalities that go with the office — and it probably fits with my weakness in doing rather than being — though you opened up a new chapter last week wherein I was happy and content just being. Last point worth further discussion. Afternoon projects had me outside and by days (sic) end I pretty much looked like a homeless person … but in this case a very content one. Enough about my love of heavy equipment and woods at sunrise …
While I was getting exhausted with one project after another at Coosaw work week, you were basking (I’m certain gloriously) on the beach..
Sounds great, hope to hear more about what sounds a great spot.
Will now finally get some sleep and write you a longer note with a few more profound thoughts tomorrow or Wednesday. In the meantime I send my love and hope you know I am thinking of you.. M
P.S. I do not want to raise expectations, when I say I will send something insignificant I promise I will do as I say! It wont (sic) be worthy of bedside placement … was just going to find the movie the Holiday as we had spoken of it last Thursday. Its music was pleasant and made me think of you — its mood and the notion of a holiday (wrapped up in our case over two days) certainly fit as well … (though our visit in some ways for me was as well less of a holiday than it was uncovering and realization of some things and feelings that again are worth longer conversation)
Had also hoped to find the cd of a song that played as I was flying home and also20made (sic) me think of you. Who knows if I can find the music … so all you may be stuck with is a long released movie — and if you put it by your bed I really be worried! Love you, good night and kisses back to you …
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 8:14 PM
To: Mark Sanford
I decided to rent a car and went by myself to the other side of the Island where it is located one of the best hotels. It’s name is DPNY Hotel and I find it quite interesting. I had lunch there in a restaurant on the beach with great seaview. I sat under a palm and ate a mixed green salad with grilled abacaxi (pineapple) and honey. in the afternoon I sunbathe and read on the beach. I ve started here “The age of turbulence” from Alan Greenspan which I highly recomend (sic) you. At five I left back to the small town had a coffee with pao de queijo (cheese bread which is something tipycal (sic) from Brazl (sic) and it’s delicious) read some magazines, walked around and finally back to meu Pousada that is hotel.
In the Island is taking place the sailing week and Rolex competition and this was the reason for choosing the place and also why luckily I am most of the time by my own. It may sound bad but it’s how I feel it. As I told you I shouldn’t have done this trip but I would have felt worst if I wouldn’t have come because it was too over the date, he is a very nice guy, great heart … but unfortunately I am not in love with him … You are my love … something hard to believe even for myself as it’s also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation.
Sometimes you don’t choose things, they just happen … I can’t redirect my feelings and I am very happy with mine towards you. Hope you have had a good day, guess with much work.
Send you all my love and goodnight kisses. Sweet dreams from down south. I’ll dream with you.
From: Mark Sanford
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 00:24:54 -0400
It was indeed a long day. I am most jealous of your salad under the palm tree.
Three thoughts in one note now that I have a moment. One the travel schedule is about to get real busy (and this distresses me for the way it may well make it more difficult to get your notes over the next few weeks), two unfortunately all the feelings you describe are mutual, and three where do we go from here?
One, tomorrow leave at 5 am for New York and meetings. Will think about you on its streets and wish I was going to be there later in the month when you are there. Tomorrow night back to Philadelphia for the start of the National Governor’s Conference through the weekend. Back to Columbia for Tuesday and then on Wednesday, as I think I had told you, taking the family to China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Thailand and then back through Hong Kong on world wind tour. Few days home then to Bahamas for 5 days on a friends boat for the last break of the summer. The following weekend have been asked to spend it out in Aspen, Colorado with McCain — which has kicked up the whole VP talk all over again in the press back home.
Two, mutual feelings. I have been specializing in staying focused on decisions and actions of the head for a long time now — and you have my heart. You have oh so many attributes that pulls it in this direction. Do you really comprehend how beautiful your smile is? Have you been told lately how warm your eyes are and how they softly glow with the special nature of your soul. I remember Jenny, or someone close to me, once commenting that while my mom was pleasant and warm it was sad she had never accomplished anything of significance. I replied that they were wrong because she had the ultimate of all gifts — and that was the ability to love unconditionally. The rarest of all commodities in this world is love. It is that thing that we all yearn for at some level — to be simply loved unconditionally for nothing more than who we are — not what we can get, give or become. There are but 50 governors in my country and outside of the top spot, this is as high as you can go in the area I have invested the last 15 years of my life — my getting here came as no small measure because I had that foundation of love and support so critical to getting up in the morning and feeling you could give and risk because you already had a full tank of love in the emotional bank account. Since our first meeting there in a wind swept somewhat open air dance spot in Punta del Este, I felt that you had that same rare attribute. Above all else I love that inner beauty about you. That gift of yours is going to make a tremendous difference in (The State deleted sons’ names) life — and in anyone’s life who is blest to be touched by yours — you need to rest very comfortably in that fact. As I mentioned in our last visit, while I did not need love fifteen years ago — as the battle scars of life and aging and politics have worn on this has become a real need of mine. You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that is so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificently gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light — but hey, that would be going into the sexual details we spoke of at the steakhouse at dinner — and unlike you I would never do that!
Three and finally, while all the things above are all too true — at the same time we are in a hopelessly — or as you put it impossible — or how about combine and simply say hopelessly impossible situation of love. How in the world this lightening [sic] strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes (and yes this is true even if you did occasionally tantalize me with sexual details over the years!) — but it was all safe. Where we are is not. I have thought about it and in some ways feel I let you down in letting these complications come into a friendship that I hope will last till death. In all my life I have lived by a code of honor and at a variety of levels know I have crossed lines I would have never imagined. I wish I could wish it away, but this soul-mate feel I alluded too is real and in that regard I sure don’t want to be the person complicating your life. I looked to where I often look for advice and counsel, and in I Corinthians 13 it simply says that, “ Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude, Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in the right, Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things”. In this regard it is action that goes well beyond the emotion of today or tomorrow and in this light I want to look for ways to show love in helping you to live a better — not more complicated life. I want to help (one of Maria’s sons) with film guys that might help his career, etc. I also don’t want you walking20away (sic) from some guy (I take it the younger guy you mentioned a t dinner) because of me — and what we both have to see as an impossible situation. I better stop now least this really sound like the Thornbirds — wherein I was always upset with Richard Chamberlain for not dropping his ambitions and running into Maggie’s arms. The bottom line is two fold, my heart wants me to get on a plane tonight and to be in your loving arms — my head is saying how do we put the Genie back in the bottle because I sure don’t want to be encumbering you, or your options or your life. Put differently, given I love you, I don’t want to be part of the reason you are having less than an ideal week in what sounds like a cool spot.
Lastly I also suspect I feel a little vulnerable because this is ground I have never certainly never covered before — so if you have pearls of wisdom on how we figure all this out please let me know … In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul. I love you … sleep tight. M
PS. I will make it a point in NY tomorrow to drop by a store and get that movie I promised to send your way … I am encouraged to know you will not keep it beside the bed least we have tangible evidence of two pathetic figures missing each other far too much to live a few thousand miles apart!
To: Mark Sanford
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 23:22:29 +0000
You have not brought complication or are not bringing complication to my life, on the contrary you’ve fullfiled (sic) me with happiness and made me aware how you can feel when you love somebody. I can think with my head but only feel with my heart so I can’t avoid it even knowing is hopelessly impossible. The guy is the one I told you ,just three years younger than me, but I am not in love and won’t fall in love with time so I have to continue my way … be alone for some time and if I am lucky enough will someday feel towards somebody, what I today feel for you. At least you made me realized it can happen.
I don’t know if I did understood (sic) well about what was unsafe or not safe. Before our mails use to have other contents … if you want to go back to that and don’t write love things and so on because is not safe for you it’s ok with me, i (sic) love you and by no way would do something that can harm you, so please let me know.
I don’t know how we figure all this out and I am not interested in knowing. I prefer to think we’ll see each other again somewhere sometime in this life and in next. Will be missing you till then… . .
Have a great trip with the ones you love … they are the kind of trips you will never forget and for your boys will be unworthable (sic) not only because of the places they will visit but for sharing all that time with you.
Send you millions of kisses that will last till we get in touch again. best wishes from the deepest of my heart.
P.S.: I don’t want to put the genius (sic) back in the bottle because I truly believe in freedom. I never gave you sexual details but now you don’t need to imagine you can close your eyes and just remember. I’ll do the same.