I need to interrupt our usual scheduled programming of France adventures and awkward moments for a small aside on this lovely Friday. I recently came across an amazing calligraphy website while doing some research on black paper for my latest artistic endeavor (I have convinced myself that the Parisian version of me is really creative). It’s a stunning site, and I was roaming around it, I came across a link to another site:
This is a non-profit organization that selects individuals (who were nominated by someone who knows them) to be the recipient of a bundle of love letters. They are usually someone going through a rough patch that would benefit from a little bit of encouragement or some kind words. Their stories are posted online and anyone can write them a letter. Anyone. These letters are then bundled up and given to the recipient. This simple idea immediately resonated with me for several reasons:
- in the age of social media, letter-writing is a lost art
- in this age, period, it is really easy to be self-absorbed and forget about other humans and that they all have their stories too
- its anonymous (provided you don’t put a return address)
- and, lastly, I think the cost-benefit is there. It can be a quick, simple task, and yet have a real meaningful impact. Moreover, can you really put a price on getting out of your own drama, if even for a few minutes?
Out of the four nominees listed, I picked two that stuck with me the most and opted to largely “draw” my letters, relying heavily on the creative inspiration I found on the previously mentioned calligraphy site. For me, these letters immediately provided benefit as they allowed me to work on something a little creative, and more importantly, they gave me the opportunity to have a conversation in French(!) with a postal worker about how to get these to the US. I promise it was slightly more complicated than in it sounds.
I’m sharing my letters below. Maybe the idea will resonate with you.
And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?