The End of the Month of Letters
The Month of Letters Challenge was, well, a challenge. To be honest, I got a little behind in responding and then I got a little overwhelmed. It wasn’t the “write and mail something every day” part that swamped me, it was the “respond to everyone who sends you a letter part.” Mainly because everyone who sent me a letter spend so much time writing beautiful, thoughtful things, and I wanted to respond in kind.
Still, it meant that on the last day, I had a number of responses still to send, so I sat down with some coffee and music and spent a few hours finishing the last of my outgoing letters for the month.
Here’s what I learned in that time:
1. It is deeply connective for me to get real mail. People talked about general (and very interesting) things like their jobs (meteorologist, writer, artist, game designer, code writer, pet walker, gardener, musician); their day-to-day lives and loves (their love of trains, of poetry, of certain musicians, of places); and what they were doing as they wrote.
2. It is also deeply moving for me to get real mail. People said some nice things, things that made me cry, that nice. Some people said I’d inspired them to return to creativity, others said I inspired them to write better or more. Some said nice things about reading my work. Others were kind about how I looked or what I wrote on social media. A few long-time friends told me things I didn’t know, about how important I was in their life or how much they appreciated me. These are things I wrote to people as well, things I have always felt toward them, but may never have said. I cried when I read the letters, and cried when I wrote them.
3. I have amazing and creative friends and acquaintances in my life. I received poems, short stories, postcards from fictional people, letters from situations and places that didn’t exist. I received beautiful handmade cards and envelopes. A lovely hand-carved bone letter opener. CDs of music and photos and stickers.
4. I have a hugely varied network from all over the world. I sent and received letters from all over the US, Guatemala, Ireland, Scotland, El Salvador, Australia, and more.
5. Writing that many letters in so short a time is hard. But incredibly worth it.
I don’t know yet when I’m doing for my March theme. Guess I’d better choose something by tomorrow!