letters out loud

by


"Did I ever tell you that my mother and father started out as pen pals? They wrote these long, unabashedly affectionate love letters to one another, peppered with clich├ęs and pie-in-the-sky proclamations of eternal devotion. Despite my father’s eventual dishonesty and unfaithfulness, I have to believe he meant every word he wrote at that time, and it was admittedly romantic, uncovering my parents’ yellowed letters, all soft, crumbling corners and black ink stains, one rainy afternoon. Because how can anyone scrawl lies, really, in their own handwriting, the evidence of your own betrayal right in front of you? I sat cross-legged on the floor, holding my breath as I unfolded each letter, fragile and expectant, like a little girl opening her presents on Christmas morning. I sat there and soaked up my parents’ love for each other, and then I wondered where all those feelings had escaped to. I wondered where love went when it was lost—did it travel far, across miles and oceans and forests and deserts, or did it linger somewhere nearby, just waiting for a chance to be summoned again? Wherever it was, I could only hope it had ended up settling somewhere quieter, safer."

It feels quite fitting to post this excerpt from a story in From This Day Forward, and to hope that it suffices as an invitation, because this event means a lot to me, because letter-writing is honest and loving and sad and raw and beautiful and brave and something we all need to start doing more. I hope to see your earnest, open, smiling faces on Thursday evening, so we can all be honest and loving and sad and raw and beautiful and brave together. And so I can maybe buy you a honey milk tea, but don't quote me on that.