Tuesday, 4 June 2013

more love letters

Have you ever written a letter without knowing who will read it? Me neither, until I saw an intriguing photo on Annee Apple's instagram feed. There was an envelope on which was written 'Open me... If you find this letter it's for you to keep'. I followed the leads to find a website, www.moreloveletters.com, encouraging people to write letters full of love to strangers and leave them for someone to find. I decided to join in.

I love the idea of finding one of these letters, so it makes sense that I'd enjoy writing them, imagining the feeling of finding a missive unexpectedly, full of warmth and light. Once I started writing, though, I realised it was a little more complicated than I'd first assumed. Leaving the letter for anyone to find is an incredibly open gesture of goodwill. It meant opening up to the idea that anyone, anyone, could read it. I meant wishing everyone well, even those motorists who drive badly when I'm on my bike, even the rude woman who grumbles when I pull my pram up onto the bus, even someone who might not wish me well at all, who even - to take this idea to its extreme - might want to harm me... Anyone.

It took a little inner adjustment but once I'd had this thought it felt really liberating and well, just good. It made me realise how much energy I waste (me - someone who thinks of herself as a pretty easy-going, people-loving person!) feeling disgruntled or resentful towards people I've never met. Try it - you might surprise yourself! Most of us, all we really want is to love and be loved. Let's spread that love around, to people we've never met, to everyone.

I also had to contend with the idea that the letter might not have its intended effect, might not make the person smile or feel warm inside. It might be ripped up and thrown away without a second thought. But then I thought that the one thing it almost certainly wouldn't do was any harm, I resigned myself to letting it go and leaving it to fate: a message in a bottle.

So if you see a woman stealthily pull an envelope out of her baby's pram and leave it somewhere odd, it might just be me! If you'd like to join in, check out the moreloveletters website.

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