Thursday, September 20, 2012

Old Friends . . .

"A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world." ~Lois Wyse

   Cleaning out my files, I found so many letters I have saved through the years from friends and relatives. Many of those people are gone from my life - perhaps a divorce many years ago or a death.  But they are all folks who touched my life in so many ways, and I honestly cannot bear to get rid of any of them. Some friends suggested that I use them in some art projects, so that is what I will do.  As I run my hands over each letter, it is as though  a moment in time is captured forever. I do not need to read the letters, for I can gain my sense of my friend just by that comforting touch. I will laugh silently to myself, or perhaps a tear will come from my eye as I remember some truly touching time spent as we perhaps cried or shared a sorrow together.
   Letter writing is truly an art. There was a genuine joy in waiting with anticipation for the postman to come, then looking into the mailbox with a sense of getting a treasure.  The letter was generally carried to the house, where I delayed its opening a little longer, perhaps fixing a cup of coffee or tea to sip while I read it.  And then I would open it carefully, and pour over those words.  I would look at the handwriting and somehow understand if my friend or relative was well or not, even if the words went unwritten. Each word had a meaning beyond what was actually on the page. Some words carried a color within them that I was clearly able to see, and others perhaps a flavor or a scent, or an emotion unspoken and yet coming through clearly. 
   I am so happy that I have those sweet memories.  I am so glad I can look back on my life and time spent with those friends and others - it adds a richness to each passing day. I am going to look forward to sharing the art I create from "The Art of Writing." The colorful mailbox is mine and I painted it in this way about a month ago with the help of a little four-year-old grandson of a neighbor. If you click on any of the photos, they will become larger for viewing. The hands are from a 2006 journal quilt I made and somehow they seemed appropriate. They are photo transfers of my actual hands, and originally, the hands acted as a clasp for a quilt that opened to expose a different scene. I used the hands art because it reminded me of the hands carefully opening a letter to expose a little of the soul of a good friend.

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