In my newest search to find my joy, I’ve discovered letters. I mean the real kind that need stamps and go through snail mail to get to you. It all started with a letter from my friend, Jacqueline. She wrote me a beautiful 3 page letter, telling me about her life and asking me about mine. Someone had placed in on my desk and when I saw it was from her, my day got instantly brighter. I started reading, and then read it again before I wrote my response. It wasn’t a huge piece of life changing information, but just a letter between friends, complete with inside jokes and open hearts. I started my response, and as I wrote, I found that I couldn’t stop. Even when my hand cramped and I reached for another piece of lined paper, I couldn’t put down my pen. It was like a piece of my heart had been tapped, and was now leaking all over the page. And the sight of it was beautiful. To me, feeling like I could let out some frustration and anger on the page to someone who was removed from the situation, helped. I mailed the letter, a beautiful six pages of my word vomit, and a piece of my sadness and pain and frustration. My heart on paper.
A couple days later a received a text from her:
“I just want you to know, I love you and treasure you like none other. A response is coming very soon.”
Before I had even received her response, I had started my next letter. Who knew that putting away my phone and picking up a pen would heal me more than a thousand emojis? As a writer, I should have known.
One of my favorite writers, Karen Scalf Linament, author of masterpieces such as “Normal Is Just A Setting On A Dryer”, and (my personal favorite) “I’m Not Suffering From Insanity, I’m Enjoying Every Minute Of It!”, wrote in the latter mentioned book, about a friend who finds so much joy in writing letters to her friends. Something about encouragement and openness, bringing people together. I always loved that part, thinking that writing really does do that. It puts a piece of your heart down on paper in a way I don’t think I can always do out loud. But blogging out to the world, and opening up to a dear friend in a hand written letter, are two very different things.
Because of this, I have a new goal I’m going to work on for a while. I’m going to write letters more. Handwritten, on paper, with an envelope and a stamp, in the mail. That’s the plan. We’ll see what happens, I suppose. It’ll take some practice, and just a pinch of discipline, but I want to try it.
If you’d like me to send YOU a letter, let me know! I don’t promise I’ll send you something right away, but as long as you give me your address, I can begin working on it.