A long time ago, in a far away land…
And actually still sometimes here and now in this land…
I used to write to people. I’d send them letters, or strange pieces of art with no sender written on the envelope, hoping to have them wonder for at least a second or two, what this strange letter could possibly be and who it might be from.
Once I made a singing gorillagram that played a song when you opened a flap in its belly, and a string of paper bananas fell out. I couldn’t afford to hire a real life singing gorillagram so this was the next best thing.
I used to regularly exchange letters with one of my cousins and I still have a pile of those somewhere in a box. I sent a toy chicken to a friend who’d just got real chickens in case they wanted some company. I’d write dozens of postcards to family and friends when I went overseas, often arriving back before the mail did.
I miss that.
I miss the intimacy of writing personally to someone, by hand. The knowledge that this paper I was touching and decorating with words or pictures was one of a kind, and that I could buy a little picture on a little piece of paper for a dollar, and write the person’s name on an envelope and stick that little picture in the corner and put it in a mailbox, and, like magic, it would find its way across the world from my hands to theirs.
A long time ago, in a far away land, I had a mailing list. It had some of the qualities I love about handwritten letters. It felt personal, more intimate. It was about conversations – I read and responded to everyone who felt moved to reply. It was different to writing on Facebook.
I’ve been thinking about that mailing list for a while now, feeling called to go back to it, to restart the conversation there, to create that same feeling of intimacy and connection that feels a bit absent here. It feels slower, with a different kind of presence to the mad scramble of scrolling and liking that is Facebook.
If you’d like to get on that list, and receive a weekly-ish letter (and who knows, maybe the opportunity for the occasional real life letter to be mailed to you) and be part of whatever it evolves into, I’d love to have you there 🙂
Here’s where you can join: ellen-may.mailchimpsites.com