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When that friend also writes Real Letters….well, you can just imagine my joy! This poem flowed from such a discovery, in praise of the wonders of correspondence via handwritten letters on actual paper.
I love the way a correspondence is a back-and-forth flow that incorporates various speeds. One pal writes back immediately, the other dilly-dallies, and a rhythm is establish that may last for years, varying with the seasons of their lives. The life stories you write as ‘history,’ are fresh and new for me. You may be old and I young, you naïve and I wise, you a professional writer and I a novice. These and other ‘disproportions’ are brought into relation by letters, which let us each have a voice, be realized, hold the floor for a while, and offer our gifts. Too often, friendship demands ‘equality’ and sameness instead of allowing for this richness. Letters are like the architectural ornamentation that weaves together spaces of different sizes and functions in a cathedral.
My favorite thing about Real Letters is the participation they allow us in time-out-of-time: the ‘strange’ time of Eternity, or Kairos. As I write, you are present to me, and when you receive, I (and the ‘present’ I described) become present to you through a medium that seems to transcend time.
Paper parade…untimely, ebbing, flowing tide…
Two-voiced music in strange time…
Life glimpses hung like prayer flags on a line
from then, to who-knows-when…
Love holding open space
for disproportionate friendship…
Story uprooted from time’s grasp,
re-blooming from the ever-fresh ancient stock,
and that dear freshness of all things
made suddenly historical by a passing pen…
Messages mediated through angel-filled kairos,
sculpted and ‘scaped within two inward-facing daily dreamtimes…
Old things made new
and young entombed with awe-full strokes
until, deep calling unto deep and life to life,
all rise again in correspondence,
freed from the temporal chain,
dismissed with a sigh,
and a stamp.
All the poems are now in one volume, and I’d love for you to have a copy! Click on the cover to buy it, and click here for the recordings of all the poems.