Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It should be no rug pulled out from under you that I subscribe to The Rumpus's Letters in the Mail. I always forget that I signed up, so each letter from an author is a surprise. I mostly read them on the subway, the perfect way to transport from Brooklyn to Manhattan with even knowing it. I've even written a few back. The stacks of white envelopes remind me to write to my letter friends--I always feel behind.

The most recent letter is from author T Cooper. I love it. It is long and wandering and includes pictures. On the first page he writes about a correspondence with a friend in France: "Every time I open up this drawer (approximately two times a day), the envelope is just sitting there staring up at me with its little foreign stamp and sailboats running atop it in reverse, reminding me that I'm an  asshole for not yet having written him back. I've seen him once and written him electronically countless times since he wrote that latter back in July, so that certainly thwarts my motivation to write him back. Or maybe that's just how we live now, even me, even though I think I'm somehow different."

I like how written letters mix in with everything else. I think of them as a moment where I can stop and focus only on the person I am writing to, which is a different thing than taking to them, or holding hands or tweeting at them. I think of them and how I want to tell it, whatever it is, to them. It is a powerful way to stay in the present. Plus, everyone loves letters.


How to throw a fancy mail art party. I'd probably drop the gift bags and nice paper, add piles of old magazine for collage and put out a tip jar for stamp costs (and offer to mail everyone's letters), but to each her own. What would you want at a mail art do?

My dad has cancer and was given (too) short number of years to live. Unsurprisingly, he is very sad. One of the few things that cheers him up is mail. His friends have been sending a ton of postcards and other greetings, which surprised and cheered him. And, of course, me. I'm sending him and my mom a Nan Goldin postcard tomorrow. Three dimes and two pennies is all it takes, and I have that, if not a lot else at the moment.


Kelly said...

That mail party blogger had excellent Halloween ephemera just..on hand? Lying around waiting to go in a gift bag? Man.
I do need to do that again soon.

Kelly said...

Also that's too cool that your dad's friends are raining postcards on him. Heartening since folks probably struggle with what to say...and then don't let that stop them.

Carrie said...

Kelly, yeah, that blogger runs a stationery company, so I guess that's why she had so much stuff.

I am surprised that so many people have written to my dad. I hope they continue to as the shock of his illness wears off. That's the loneliest time.