To the Letter

 

23 October, 2014

I have spent some time this morning with the letters of women who intrigue me…Janet Erskine Stuart, Georgia O’Keefe, Willa Cather…And as I read I find myself talking to them as I might if I had the chance to sit across from them in a book-ish ambiance, or upon a hillside blanket, washed over with a new day’s becoming and the generous pauses of contentment and keen observation that are markers of the rare experiences at the tail end of the earth that are here–you can’t help getting them. (G. O’Keefe)

As I read, I keep thanking them with a slight blush…A window they (for the most part) never intended to be hewn into the side of the lives they fashioned has been un-shuttered and opened to the elements by the publication of their letters…and I have stood in the wind and peeked through, reading the correspondence that was intended for another.

I thank them for the fluidity of their pens and the intimacy they are able to convey in the coming together of ink and paper… Intimacy of thought and feeling, intimacy of relationship to the world, to others, to God, to Nature and Art…

I thank them for their lives, fully lived, fully engaged, fully given…to Beauty, to others, to God, to creating, to interpreting what they experienced in a way that can speak seriously to others over time and invite the pursuit of such expression by others.

I thank them for the way they have me reflect on the letters I have written in my lifetime and the letters I have received. As to the former, some I have written are meanderings of thought, some describe a particular moment, some are purposeful and to the point, some are quietly expressive of a truth that begs to bloom. Some of the latter have cut me to the quick, others have made me consider situations or actions in a different light, others are of the sort to keep apart and read again and again, gently and thoroughly…letting the heart rest in the warmth and rise on the nearness of the one who writes….who shares their word and their hand, their thoughts, feelings, and wishes…in a one to one conversation with a reader…

…who might be someone else one day… ???

And I find myself asking… What will the landscape reveal through the hewn window of the words I write?

 

 

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