Letter 10: To My Love Letters

10 February 2012

Dear Love Letters

Well my dear Missives, it has been 10 days and I have written 10 letters so far … You are all out there, in the ether – created and thriving …

My love odyssey, my chaste challenge, has been to write a love letter every day of this month of February 2012 and already this journey has taken me in many different directions. To me that feels so right, for love shows itself in many ways and comes in many forms and as I move through this process, I realise the power of love and of letters and writing – more and more …

I can only sow the seeds and send my letters on their way. With the awesome power of the internet and public publishing, I put them out there, not even sure of the full extent of their reach. Yet I remember before the days of bullet points, texts and the World Wide Web – the absolute thrill, the life line, the love line of receiving a letter to me, for me alone – from family, friends and connections. There was the excitement of seeing the envelope, of recognising the hand writing and checking the wavy franked imprint covering the Queen’s face on the stamp. And STAMPS – I used to collect those too as a child, loving the exotic, far away connections to the world beyond my girlish knowing, to be reached out to and discovered in times to come …

Great things came in envelopes and landed on the mat … news, views, information, pen pals, photographs, my place at University, job offers … I remember too that I have been ‘asked out’ by not one, but two different men, by the medium of a letter! And there was sad news too, falling out, rejections and returns. And I remember friends sharing letters from their lives, a ‘Dear John’, read with a tears or love letters shared with pride. Yes, I guess they were some how slower times, that time of letters … time to consider, time to share, to re-read, to gorge yourself on words.

I used to avidly hoard my letters from lovers and from friends, with their news, emotional drama, falling in and out of love and friendship. They were so full of love and laughter. And then at some point in my life, I threw them all away … feeling that I didn’t have the time or space for them, that I should not be attached to my past. Well what’s done is done, but sometimes, oh sometimes I would love to trace the words again, to feel the temporal pull of the past’s triumphs and turmoils … So now I write again, I recreate, I replace, I redress the balance …

So now letters are a forgotten form, little used, replaced by emails and social media. We go for speed, for neatness, for cheapness instead.

A little while ago I reconnected with an old friend lost through time and she sent me a long, lovely letter, handwritten to perfection – honest, loving and beautiful. When it landed, unbidden on my hall floor, before I even opened it, I felt the thrill again. That day at home I had a visitor who wanted my attention, yet my attention wanted the unopened letter, to devour it and spend time with it. I asked for some time alone with my letter; enough time to read it over and over, to absorb it, understand it and commit to treasuring it …

As I have started this new Odyssey of letters, I have had the obsession of a new lover, wanting to spend time with you – my perfect little creations, feeling over the many facets of love and life, going into the lightness and darkness of love and where it takes you, shapes you and shadows you … You have filled me up, you have sent me spinning into the past and stepping into my future. I feel the force of creativity, of owning myself as a writer; and with all that – the flipping coin of excitement versus fear – my joy at sharing my love, versus the vulnerability laying myself open to who knows what ..?

So that is love for me, today … short and sweet, eternal, beautiful, brutal and obsessive; giving, tender, fierce and gentle. So many things you are and will be … my loves … my love letters to life and to me …

   For ever loving, Sandra xxx

[PS: Dear Reader, if you love letters too, you can buy my love letters in book form by following this link…]

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