Last week, I invited readers to tell me what I should choose to do for the next project. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of hits to the blog, but this venture still feels one-sided, and I’ve been craving more discussion and interaction.
Needless to say, I was super excited to check the comments when I got back from work that night. #1 came from none other than my wonderful friend Robbie. His suggestion? Go door to door asking people about their top community issues, and organize a way to bring those ideas to city council. By chance, the day before I signed up to do just that as a canvasser for the upcoming municipal elections. I don’t actually start until next week, but I’ve
decided to assign his task to my canvassing duties, and thus cast my eyes to comment number two.
Unsurprisingly, it came from my sister. Chris is an incredible (I’m not at all biased) creative writing instructor, and this fall is running a contest (and set of workshops) on love letters. Her challenge to me? To put some passion on the page and write a series of them. That night, over shrimp salad and a Greg Brown show (one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to – at Hugh’s Room… a life changing experience) we talked more about this. Who would I write the letters to? Do love letters have to be for romantic lovers? What actually makes up a love letter?
This is what she said:
“Love letters can be for lovers, yes, but they can also be for best friends, bus drivers or baristas. They can be for our dogs, our dads or our dinner guests. They can for the musicians that touch our hearts or the novelists whose characters sit inside us. They can be for coffee. They can be for Italy. They can be for people who have passed away. They can be for unborn children, or future versions of ourselves. The important thing is simply this: That they are sincere, they are tender and they are very real.”
So this week, amidst my attempts to catch up on posts about cold frames and cork boards (coming soon!), I’ll also be posting a series of love letters.
Today’s is to my mailman. Before you read on, take a moment to imagine a healthy looking woman who, unbeknownst to any passer by, has just had an appendectomy and is on her first venture into the outdoors since the surgery. Having dropped her keys, she stands helplessly waiting for a helping hand.
To the Postman…
I stood there that day in the middle of the sidewalk, feeling more alone than ever. It was such a simple action – bending down to pick up my keys – but no muscle in my body would move. I felt like that girl in Kill Bill, willing her toe to move in the back seat of a car, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it.
So I stood, and I waited, tears welling up in my eyes, ready to pour over like Niagara Falls.
I can only imagine what you thought when you found me – a perfectly healthy looking girl, crying over her dropped keys, not two feet from her grasp. You didn’t ask any questions though. You just smiled and offered your usual friendly greeting, your voice almost singing as you said “Hello”.
I hardly managed a thank you, but you saved me that day. You did what my body wouldn’t allow. You reminded me of the goodness of humankind. You reached out a helping hand to someone you didn’t even know was in need.
So now, healthy again, I’m here to say thank you, and to tell you that in that moment my heart was filled with love for you. In my most vulnerable, in my most incapable, you picked up my keys for me and helped me get home.