Letters to X


hope


love


wonder


understand


see


remember


never


find


continue


welcome


live


protect


be


until


learn


wish

Hey

I miss you guys and can’t wait to visit in . Hopefully the roads are clear and sleeps most of the way. If not, I am sure we will have engaging gibberish conversations and repeating rounds of our favorite .

swears that said “” the other day. I was so excited had said , but then felt sad that it was the word “.” Apparently we have said it enough that it has stuck. I hope is getting as much love from despite our busy schedules! I know that will love seeing though! And will no doubt impress you with new found skills in sitting and eating any (except which prefers tamed down with ). , hope you are feeling okay and will be up for some fun times, celebration and “” night, where will try very hard to misbehave. And the next night, where we will try even harder to misbehave! Really, I just look forward to sitting around & watching all the ! “” in the backyard. It has been a turbulent few months, so it will be good to chill out and enjoy , and laughs, free of .

I hope to get there , probably late…

Until then, lots of love,

Dear

I miss you so much! You loved me so thoroughly, I never had to wonder if I was cared for. You were sometimes, but now I only remember how you were. You had me . You are the most generous person in my . And I want to thank you for giving me . You shared your passion for with me. Remember the times I went on with you and your ? That was so fun! I was “” and all loved you —  were so kind to me and showered me with the attention I craved. You and I are probably a lot alike; we like , we like to be with people — especially who love — and we also love to be alone. We both may not have the best social-skills. {ooops} What I’ve really been meaning to say, is how I am so grateful for those times we had together. They came when things were . You had me . Later, I still loved . Remember when I brought ? We had such fun together. Now we have a home in . I love being there. I and wonder . And you are with me always. Every time I your voice is there saying “”. Thank you, dear , for the love of . All things go around, and in the center is love. I love you.

Dear

Today a friend who is a came over to interview me for material she is collecting for a new , still in the beginning stages. The topic is relationships… quite a (potentially) loaded conversation. She is interviewing , to identify .

One of the questions she asked was how my relationship with shaped decisions I made — and without hesitation, I said, “!” Interesting! Other realizations along the way have been that most of my relationships have been like the one I had with — all were , none could . We talked about the cultural taboo against — about the profound I felt when I realized I . (I do not now — and love and hate are two sides of the same coin.) I am sorry couldn’t love me. I wonder who I’d be if .

,

The weirdest thing happened to me the other night. I had just gone to bed, and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I could hear sounds like . The sounds of . And then when I lifted my head, I realized it had to be the wind outside, screaming around the corners and the walls with strain. But when I laid my head down again, the returned. This time a sound with .

Then the strangest thing. In the darkness, I wondered if you were all . What if this wind was carrying all your and to me. You understand that didn't know this world would erupt and cause you so much pain. When you were , Kept you . Innocent. This earth was a kind world when you . You were in a time of peace. Now, let me sleep. We can talk about all this around some night.

Love,

Dear

I’m thankful for the occasion to write, and hope this letter finds you well. told me you recently lost a good . I am sorry. Seems like has been making the rounds lately. My died back in January, but it still feels like yesterday the last time I saw ... it’s like looking at a photo...

is laying on a stretcher with the draped over and covering completely. The wheels away, between 4 or 5 nurses with hands over their hearts, down a long window-lined hall. Taps plays from a tiny sitting on a window ledge.

I didn’t know you’re supposed to put your hand over your heart when Taps is playing. Maybe you’re not, it just gives you something to do with your hands. To me, the are tragically beautiful in the golden morning light. To them, it’s another routine .

I want to take a picture of them and the , but my is holding me tight and I’d have to wriggle free. I choose not to take the photo, but to commit the scene to memory instead. I’m reminded of something Alan Watts said along the lines of “a moment hardly seems worth living if you don’t have a picture to prove it happened.”

It’s a pleasant surprise to see that actually exist. I don’t think I’ve actually seen one in person, and certainly not interacting with me. personified. It’s an actual career choice.

That livelihood seems so (so) antiquarian in the 21st century, almost anachronistic, just like , , and people who read and write letters on paper.

How much longer will folks like us be around?

Your friend,

,

I can’t remember a more moment as this. The sun was shining so bright you couldn’t find a shadow. I hadn’t carried the weight of yet, didn’t realize just how I was. That day I drew on the sidewalk with chalk. Colors of . The scratch of the felt good on my arms. My legs melted into the sidewalk. Cars and people passed but I was to everything but warmth, color, possibility, and . Nothing else as I spun around and watched the tangled colors of the , they were so bright -- they spun and filled my vision. What a sight, the entire of me was filled with it. That’s all I remember of . That day was a gift that you gave me.

thank you

Dear ,

Too long between letters, my dear old friend. Much too long. It seems like I write to you when I am feeling particularly , never just to say hi, how you doin’? And yes: I am feeling particularly today. I had to say goodbye to my beloved yesterday, and my eyes are always full of tears, ready to spill over at the mention of . We had to . was in a long decline for a year, or even more, but I never thought was ready to die. Maybe was. I clung to every sign of health and happiness. But the last week was steep and rapid. nights of moaning and consolation, moaning and consolation ended with my not being consoled, and probably didn’t know who I was anymore. Anyway, gone and the loss seems very nearly unbearable to me. It will pass, but I am so . It would be good to hear your wise voice.

,

I was thinking about social media the other day. At first I thought it was tearing us apart… but I was wrong. Rather than relationships, I think it just them. What would take you years to discover, is all laid out like cheap window dressing. This information can either or , depending on your taste. Discretion seems to be dead but letters live on.

May this one find you .

--

Dear ,

I’m writing this letter to express my love and appreciation for everything you have done for when were alive -- the last few months. Your love, your care is what kept them both . What you did for was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen and I will never forget your courage.

In the last few months of you gave everything anyone would want. The little ways you , the special , the she loved -- I remember it all. As long as I live, I will never forget your , your , the true depth of your heart. It meant everything to , and to me.

Now that , the void in my life is sometimes unbearable. The day passed, I came home and told that I feel like and she said “now you know how I feel.” It broke my heart but I understood the profound she must feel and has felt for years. You are the only person who can fill that void -- more so than you think because you are my connection, the only one, who can even come close to making it bearable. Please take care of yourself because I need you to as long as possible.

All my love,

Dear ,

I’ll be dead by the time you read this. X stands not just for some unknown person, but for an unknown time in the future. Maybe X is years from now, so I’ll die at the same age as , who surprised with longevity. Maybe X is years from now -- with the help of miracle medications, I’ll , very . And then again, maybe X is tomorrow: hit by a bus! poisoned by an enemy! keeled over from a heart attack!

I give myself a “B” in life, not bad. I've been a good , good , good , good , good , good , good , good , good , good = B. But I would give myself an “A” in tenacity, determination and gumption. I got from my mother. From my father I got -- develop good and stick with them. From , compromise, which is really what love is.

I believe in . My main role in life has been to protect the material of my and combine it with the best possible ; are proof of success in this endeavor. It’s not all nature — nurture matters a lot, too! Love, again.

So X1, X2, X3, I am dead, but we are forever!

Dear

You’ve been a long time , so we were worried you might not be coming. However, on my run this morning, I saw the first , quietly under a tree. So there you were.

Later, while looking to the backyard, I saw another sign of you… in a . Pale , interspersed with .

You are convincing me, slowly, that you just might be here to stay. A bit of a flirt, one might say, as I survey the this morning. And yet… there you are, ready to “be.”

An admirer

My name isn’t relevant to what I’m going to write. In fact, there was a time when it was nothing but just another word. When I was years old, my life began a . I am now and finally want to live again.

When I would come home from school, like any child, I would run, skip and jump. I couldn’t wait to get home! This was the case until one day I came home to a strange man standing with my father in the . His voice was deep and somewhat scary. In the weeks to follow more and more came to our house and mainly the garage. I saw less and less of . I didn’t enjoy coming home much anymore — I felt lost. Coming home from a friends house one day I found sleeping on the couch with some next to . just stared at me with blood-shot eyes and slammed the door. yelled at me to go to my room.

That winter, my mother told me I was going to have a . She said that she was taking this special medicine to . I spent most of my time after that dreaming of having a . I stayed in my room most days due to all of the strangers in the house. One day I came home to a houseful of and my mother was . Her hands were and was standing over her, simply staring at her. I screamed and ran for help.

My father for years before he was . My mother was and died after a . I have been for years.

Dear , dear fizzy, crackling, glitching patterns of movement, of , of ; dear perfect flaws & exquisite anomalies, stunning simplicities, animate and in-animate , meaning-makers and space-holders, I am glad to be part of you.

I live suspended in your shape-shifting , your constellation of energy, ideas and . Knowing this feels like placing your bare feet in warm, shallow, river-bank mud, and thinking about the ! There is a fragile but integral place here for compassion, and held aloft as drops of water in a spider’s web. All these small but great letting-go’s that at once in a that flexes to enclose time & space, allowing the of long-dead to speak to us in our most human moments, suspending our small, and setting us upright again, to continue our toy-sailboat journey across .

You are a web that decays, that , and has no direction. You float, and whirl, and whirr, and glow: dancing between parachutes :)

Two authors come to me now as though to : Shakespeare’s “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries… haply I think on thee, and then my state, (Like to the lark at break of day arising from From sullen earth)”

()
and

E.E. Cummings: “E’en like the passage of an angel’s tear that falls through the clear ether silently”

It is the earth, the , and the that compel me. Why choose ‘deaf heaven’ when you have such concrete examples of , , and ?

Dear ,

keep fizzing

To.

I rarely write letters, but there’s a in my chest and this seems like a chance to something beyond what is telling me. And my . I wish I was right now. Wanting this makes my life and I think we never should have . Is it to say that each good-bye is ? That each hello is , and when we are together everything ? In some ways, we’ve been through and yet every , every with you is the place to be. I won’t let go of that. I more than any human being should have to. Tangled and . I don’t know what this is. There’s so much . Maybe you remember and could tell me.

Dear ,

I stumbled across a detailed yesterday morning. It was attached to our . My first reaction was of destroying as I have a fear of .

I looked upon the again and started to see the beauty of the creation and the beauty of life itself. Therefore the and shall be welcome until it moves on.



P.S. why do we or things that we believe are ? the human condition.

Dearest ,

What is there left to say? Often I am left more with . How we would at a time, talking and laughing so and . How we would be so softly with each other, acknowledging how we just . How you would say, “Where have you been all my life?”, looking at me . So , , , , and , until I learned that you were none of those things. Until I learned that I came second to , and you would surround yourself with. I learned that it was really all one big , and I was in the with . I let you and my heart broke. But in all the there came . I ended up finding the and discovered . So, what I can say to you, is thank you. Thank you for showing me how I . I myself and this was the greatest pain of all, by . My gratitude for you comes from the role you played -- the push for me to . I only hope that one day you will find the courage to .

Most sincerely,

[X]

Dear ,

Social media and digital interaction have changed how we connect with one another. Personal correspondence has evolved from handwriting on paper to pixels on screens; the former is often considered personal and private, while messages created and transmitted digitally are seen as less personal due to the fact that they are subject to reproduction and can never really be deleted. We are writing more now than we ever have, yet screen correspondence as an everyday social activity may not effectively relay deeper emotions that were once historically expressed on paper.

Writers, poets, designers and artists were invited to collaborate and write a letter to X (i.e., me, another person, the universe, etc) that contains content that is, in some way, emotionally driven… the sort of content one might not typically email, text message or post online. Those letters comprise this interface and all authors remain anonymous. A word was taken from each letter and assigned to it as a navigational label. The interface contains both the original handwritten letters (“censored”) as well as the typed phrasal template version (“opened”). A big thanks to the authors!

The cycle continues with you, and the media on this screen becomes social. You’re invited to be a voyeur, personalize these letters and mix writings from people together with your words. Everything on this screen is temporal and will disappear when the window is closed or reloaded. Text can be dragged horizontally and vertically (like the movement of a typewriter, or handwriting) and it’s all editable unless you’re on a smallish mobile device (sorry, there’s a limitation due to screen size).

Mobile devices have their limitations; handwritten letters may appear smaller, or disappear altogether.

Go ahead and print what you make, or save it as a pdf… and maybe send it to a person you’re thinking of right now.

-jb