09 Nov MY DESIGNS CARVED INTO BLOCKS OF LINOLEUM
I’ve had an ongoing list of pen pals for most of my life. Friends from my hometown, from college. I print my own cards, my designs carved into blocks of linoleum. As regularly as I can, I scatter letters across the country, and to different parts of the world. It is a practice that reminds me to tend to my relationships, to remember each friend and to reach out to them.
Over this past pandemic year, sending mail has felt different. Without the dream of travel, any distance has felt a world away. My letters go where I cannot. Normally my correspondence would detail the changes in my life, but this year there was less to tell as opportunities slowed and plans halted. Even so, it has felt more important than ever to write. Amidst the deluge of zoom calls, a physical letter feels like an intentional gift. I have noticed that with less going on, friends have written back more quickly. And some friends, who had never written, are now sending mail. These correspondences have been sweet reminders of friendship during what has been a lonely year.
With the vaccine, and travel slowly returning, I can finally hope of seeing my pen pals in person again. Still, I intend to keep up my mail practice. More than before, letters mark how we have remembered each other while apart. So, for future distances, I will keep writing.