August 17, 2013

a little love note update small request from some of you and whatnot. (also a little joke in the based on recent news: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/15/living/literally-definition.)

10:22am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZeaOXtsVeF0R
Filed under: update 
January 21, 2013
Yay! The beautiful “folded page” image poster, courtesy the amazing Bryan Jones. (Thank you Bryan!)

Yay! The beautiful “folded page” image poster, courtesy the amazing Bryan Jones. (Thank you Bryan!)

January 5, 2013
Sample Letter #4: Meet Me at the Subway

Here is one of a few sample emails written to friends over the years, friends who have given me permission to share them. I’m often enamored of the world and write on that topic – these emails have been stripped of their more personal details, the parts that could lead one to guess their recipient. They haven’t been stripped of my own personal details (you will see). Your letters will be hand-written, and therefore somewhat shorter. I’d’ve edited these down further but I wanted to demonstrate complete thoughts.

Sample #4

dear _____,

you asked about my travels from before, the ones we never caught up on, and here’s a little for you:

when i arrived in bangalore, i passed the required hurdles of international travel at the airport and walked outside, oddly confident that i wasn’t alone although i wasn’t sure how to contact anyone, and i’d never met the person who was coming to get me. it was december and the air was perfectly seventy-ish, the sun was not quite setting, but the dome of sky half-pink already in the dusty city air.

nk had said, “meet me at the subway.” so i looked for the nearest metro sign. in the foreground i saw a subway sandwich shop. he was there, in the non-halal line grabbing dinner. “do you want any?” they had fed us on the flight more times than necessary, so i smiled and shook my head.

the breeze picked up to remind me again that they temperature was perfect. there was music on the loudspeaker, a combination of strangely-tuned twanging instruments, percussion on hand drums, and a sort of tambourine or shaker, glittering its own metallic rhythm. it sounded comedic and stereotypical. this was the same music played in any movie scene set in a faraway land when the american walks into the open-air market - no matter if the market was in budapest or south africa. always the same music, never the same place. the music just said: we play on a different scale here and you’re not going to be used to it yet.

after finding a car to take us into the city, we sat quietly as he finished his meal, and lit a cigarette. again, i declined - the road was kicking up debris and i felt like i was inhaling enough smoke already. i couldn’t find it in me to mind. suddenly, nk said, “do you like billy collins?” a reference to a beloved poet was not the conversation starter i was expecting. yes. he went on, “i love ‘the best cigarette.’ do you know it?” actually, i did not. he recited it to me. but i was “full of vaporous hope.” he took me to nd’s house and explain how she was the best cook anyone knew, and, also told me how seldom most people drink in india. for dinner, she ordered in chinese and her husband introduced a bottle of johnny walker green to the table. we laughed, and ate, and drank, and i would have fallen asleep happy, but i was too happy to fall asleep.

maybe this is why I don’t mind so much when others smoke. maybe this is why i’m so happy when i miss india. maybe i should be just as sentimental about clean morning air and sunrises here in the midwest of my country. ok, i will be.

love, chel

December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012
Click here for the link to the Indiegogo campaign...

Because Optimists write love letters.
Share the word on Twitter too please: @optimistswrite
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Thank you!

December 21, 2012
Sample Letter #3: People Are Awesome

 Here is one of a few sample emails written to friends over the years, friends who have given me permission to share them. I’m often enamored of the world and write on that topic – these emails have been stripped of their more personal details, the parts that could lead one to guess their recipient. They haven’t been stripped of my own personal details (you will see). Your letters will be hand-written, and therefore somewhat shorter. I’d’ve edited these down further but I wanted to demonstrate complete thoughts.

Sample #3

 

dear _____,

 

i’m writing from the unwise hour of around 6am in this timezone. which is totally normal time for you, or normal for me as of last friday. so, whatever.

 

people told me this country would feel like a different world but it doesn’t really. it feels like my world, our world, only the part past the horizon- the thing that columbus found (as terrible a character he was) he still looked out and said “horizon? my ass.”

 

worked with a conference fellow on the talk she’ll be giving and she is SO amazing, created a really cool invention but admitted she had a notebook full of “oh i don’t know, a hundred maybe other invention designs?” she’s so scared of failure she didn’t want to talk about any of them. she doesn’t see herself for what she is. she is both kinetic and potential energy. she is inertia: motion on what she knows, and lack of motion on what she hasn’t done yet. i wish there was a magical honesty mirror. it’s like she has a form of dysmorphia of who she is and who she’s afraid she is. i can’t wait to see her become who she is. i’m hopeful she will. i’m an optimist. and she’s going to spend time with some amazing optimists this week.

 

i’m amazed (and yeah, a little proud) of how comfortable i am here. it’s different, sure, but it’s still people. beating hearts and glowing breaths and they’re loved in ways they know or don’t. they love too, or have, or will. people are all like that.

 

you know what? this whole email was really going to be about a paragraph long before my head got filled up by everything around me. i was going to write this:

 

i hear people say of our friend r: “he has such an open heart, and we discovered we had so much in common.” a thousand kindred spirits. i realized that his magic is a heart so open. there’s room to get in - room for everyone. i want to be like that. i just keep thinking of the joy people carry when they realize they have an open-hearted friend who makes them feel loved. i want people to feel loved. more than anything. 

 

that’s it. that’s what this place and these people put in my head. and now they’re a little in yours. good luck with that, eh?

 

gratefully,

chel

December 21, 2012
Sample Letter #2: Room to Think

 Here is one of a few sample emails written to friends over the years, friends who have given me permission to share them. I’m often enamored of the world and write on that topic – these emails have been stripped of their more personal details, the parts that could lead one to guess their recipient. They haven’t been stripped of my own personal details (you will see). Each campaign contributor letter will be hand-written, and therefore somewhat shorter. I’d’ve edited these down further but I wanted to demonstrate complete thoughts.

Sample #2

 

dear _____,

 

i woke up in my new apartment in an absolute pile of sunshine - piled up and messy like a load of clean laundry dumped on the bed. there’s a skylight in my room. and a window. the walls and ceiling(s?) meet at odd angles which catch and flip the light in all sorts of ways. i wake up delighted.

 

i moved into a carriage house the other weekend, the apartment over a garage behind a huge house in a neighborhood that has volleyed from wealth to poverty to being slowly reclaimed (think: harlem). my place is all gables and dormers and a large open floor plan and with more square footage than i know what to do with. it’s perfect for company. come visit.  

 

i’ve been thinking about maslow’s hierarchy of needs a lot lately.  now that housing and such are finally taken care of, i can take off my seatbelt and am free to move about the cabin in my head.  i can get around to worrying about and taking care of the unseen parts of life.

 

so i’m beginning to think maslow could be wrong.  his hierarchy makes a lot of sense; people don’t process emotions well with their blood sugar too low.  but the value it places on emotional experiences seems to fall in the luxury category.  it’s an afterthought, a place we aren’t acknowledging at all as concurrent to the rest of the basics.  self-esteem comes after friendship?! creativity is the farthest from housing when that’s how i get housing at all?!

 

life really *is* good.  i got up early-ish because that’s my favorite time of the day. i’ve got a list of errands that includes buying new running shoes (i think my current pair is about 75 miles past expiration).  people roll their eyes at “tweeting what you just ate” but seriously, breakfast was one of those meals where everything feels like a blessing. maybe it’s because the idea of hot sauce and eggs as fuel for my body to go about living is a mind-blowing-ly awesome idea.

 

right now i’m going to pack a sandwich for lunch, go garage-saling for some kitchenware and… hit send.

 

love,

chel

December 21, 2012
Sample Letter #1: A New Year’s Morning Email

Here is one of a few sample emails written to friends over the years, friends who have given me permission to share them. I’m often enamored of the world and write on that topic – these emails have been stripped of their more personal details, the parts that could lead one to guess their recipient. They haven’t been stripped of my own personal details (you will see). Each campaign contributor letter will be hand-written, and therefore somewhat shorter. I’d’ve edited these down further but I wanted to demonstrate complete thoughts.

Sample #1

 

 

dear _____,

 

when the temperature holds fast and cold, time seems to as well. i woke in a large room where a portrait of the perfect new england snowfall hangs in the picture window. the white walls and ceiling of the room respond with similar brightness while the warm constant of the accoutrements of a loving household held my happy thoughts. this is a home of people who love: each other, me, the world outside, the people in it. i am making mental notes to learn from them. they do not refuse to pass judgment, rather, these lovers judge all worthy of their efforts at love - what it takes to regard the needs of others’ hearts. these are my friends, my rabbis, my adoptive parents (though my age). i have much to learn.

 

a blue jay appeared in the downed white trees like a colorful apostrophe, contracting the seasons together. he skipped about on branches, i heard each limb resound in the bright major key of dulcimer strings while the heater kicked on with the soft deep shush of a mother cooing one to calm.

 

my friends’ pet, perhaps the softest cat ever, slept defiantly at my feet at this waking hour. his blue-black fur rises and falls with unconscious, precise rhythm. he nestles into the day and the day has wrapped itself around him.

 

i cuddled against myself, deeper into the blankets and try to close my eyes but the solar powered generator in my mind has been pushed to life by the light outside, a steady palm behind my thoughts urging me into activity. i sat up and began to write. there is not a lesson in the room i could or should forget. i have been gifted to life and this is my thank you letter. and with that, mama cat has hurled herself against me, aggressively cuddling against my notebook.

 

love,

chel

December 21, 2012
The Indiegogo Campaign (and full explanation) Coming Shortly!

If this site seems a little enigmatic - it’s only because the site is only part way done.

I’m writing a book and need a little help.
I will be asking for two types of contributions:
1) be a part of (in!) the book (be a recipient of a letter) &
2) also a little fiscal help too please.

The biggest key to explanation is the Indiegogo campaign, which is still being set up. There’s a lot of hard work going into getting that right. You’ll be learning a lot more, shortly.

In the mean time, I offer a few literary snacks. There are some sample letters I’ve written in the past. Some are very, very old. All have been shared with the permission of the recipient.

I hope you enjoy them, and perhaps would like to get such a letter yourself.

Oh! And I’m turning comments off on this site because while the letters are posted anonymously, they aren’t written that way. And people take correspondence personally (they should).

While you can email me directly to comment on my writing, I’d hate to have a recipient see any judgments and have them color their feelings negatively about the letter. I try to keep it upbeat (focused on love!) but critiques can be downers. Send me your downers directly, if you must. Thank you for understanding. No hard feelings.

December 19, 2012
Thank you, Stacy Mar!

Thank you, Stacy Mar!

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