I decided to write the first and last letters of the project to myself. It isn’t often that I will include the full text of the letter in a posting, as it may be sensitive and/or personal to either myself or the recipient, but this helps to explain my reasons behind the project and what I hope to accomplish. As I was typing, I noticed some sentences that didn’t make sense, but to stay true to the spirit of the project, I am not correcting my mistakes.
If you’d like to receive a letter or be a part of them project, please send me your address!
“January 1st. 2014
The first letter. I’m writing this to myself – to the me I’ll be in 364 days. I hope the year has been all good, though I suspect there may be some heartbreak. But I know I can get through tough times and I know I’ll be stronger for it. I started this project to reconnect: with myself, with friends and family, and with the written – ACTUAL WRITTEN – word. I hope to incorporate art and design, to write to people I respect and admire, to give them a part of myself in a way we too often fear. Most of these letters will be mailed, but a few will not. I plan to write to people I am not able to locate and a few who have passed on.
Some thoughts on letters. Two of my most cherished possessions are a letter from my grandmother. I received it just after I started my first semester at the University of Tampa. She told me she was proud of me. She also told me that she had been kicked out of college for kissing a boy outside after curfew – scandalous. The other letter is from one of my most inspiring and favorite professors after I sent him a copy of my Masters’ Thesis, which I dedicated to him. These mark important moments in my life and, for my grandmother, a connection to my personal past. It was the last time I heard from her as she suffered an aneurysm shortly after I got the letter. I hope to live a life long enough to tell everyone I love how much I love them, but that can’t just be left to chance. I will write to all family members, including my children, so they have that connection with my written word.
I chose to write this letter on yellow legal paper because it is who I am. I was the kid who wrote pages and pages of letters and notes in class. I was also the girl who loved the new school supplies. To quote, or paraphrase, the musical Sunday in the Park with George by Stephen Sondheim – “a blank page or canvas, his favorite: so full of possibilities.”
This letter, and the start of this project, is so full of possibilities. I look forward to the journey.
Susan Wheeler Capozza