This post comes from our contributor Kristen Hedges.
I think that, more than anything, we should work towards softening our hearts.
We must find those simple, loving acts that gently tug and unfold the edges, melt the walls we’ve built, shake off the dust and create a sense of warmth in the ribs. More than money, power, and fame, these are the things that will quickly turn and shape the world around us.
To start, maybe we should write more love letters.
The old fashioned kind. The ones laid out in ink on paper, rather than typed onto a screen and then cautiously backspaced. The ones that are exhaled from the lungs and wrung from the heart like fresh water. They’re a relief to write. Hasty, scribbled words of truth, and love, and promise. A part of yourself, all permanently pressed in letters and symbols, and then folded up and sent the long way, over land, sea, and sky, to the one you love.
And then, after a few days, or maybe a week, someone else will anxiously tear at the seal, pick apart the glue, unfold paper, scan your words and breathe them in. Their heart will soften, too, just like that. Just by knowing that, for a moment, they were on your mind.
So, please: Let’s write more love letters. Let’s send CDs, postcards, glitter, pressed flowers, little folded cloths of tea, sand, waxed leaves, drawings, moments in time. Let’s send words that, until now, have been left unsaid. Let’s send confessions of the heart, whispers of lust, of desire, of friendship. Let’s even send casual things. Little, mundane scenes from our life penciled out and folded up, because however ordinary they seem, they will still open, soften, heal.
Stamp your envelope, dye your paper, write with a calligraphy pen. Turn off the television, open the window, go outside. Today, write a love letter. Tell them to please, write back. And then, when you let the envelope slowly slip into the mail slot, you will warm up a bit, ever so subtly.