a letter to a friend


Recently Beth wrote about e-mail being the death of letters, resulting in a loss of permanent records for posterity. It came to mind this morning while I was emailing a friend in a more than usual chatty fashion. I started thinking about how it might have turned out if I’d written it by hand. Terrible handwriting and unedited incoherent thoughts for sure (though the latter still happens in emails, heh). Yet the pleasure of opening a real hand written letter is very rare indeed, and I’m guilty. Anyway, I thought I’d share that ‘letter’, slightly edited for privacy and the addition of some links.

Good morning to you, R!

The sun is shining here after days of heavy cold rains. It seemed like November already. And this white stuff you are talking about in Calgary – frost? or snow? Yikes. Whistler has had snow and there are reports that our highest peaks around here would be dusted as well. In the dark last night we started bringing in yet more of my potted plants (yes, I have a LOT) after I read that it’s going to 5C tonight.  Strange how cold the west has been while the east has been very warm, the opposite of normal, though it’s cooling now in the east. I have to get outside today and gather a few more plants. F tells me I have to cut back on having so many plants!

I should be at the studio today, but I got distracted by the weekend trip, and feelings of sadness and pain at seeing the downhill spiral of aging and illness in my favourite uncle and aunt. I’m having trouble focusing on this new work I’m doing – needing to feel and think about what it is I want to do to make this say what I think I want it to say. Before you start worrying about me, let me say that this is normal behaviour for me (and many artists) when starting new work, especially after a break of not working. Yesterday, at the studio, I had a helpful chat with another artist who offered some good suggestions on how to approach this. Now I just need to discipline myself and make time to focus on it. I know it will all fall into place soon. So, I will work on that for a while, then do a few chores.

Late this afternoon is the opening of a friend’s show. F will be cycling as usual and will meet me there after work. The bike stand/carrier is inside the back of the van as well as a change of clothes. When he’s cycled up the big hill to the college, he’ll load his bike in there, change and come find me in the gallery. Afterwards we can drive home together. It’s a pattern we’ve developed whenever we want to meet somewhere after his work.

I’m rambling here… Now to your news.. How wonderful that C has found work! Where and what? I hope it will be a happier experience than the last position – please give her my warmest best wishes!

Thank you, R, for sharing your latest news about your research on your project. Amazing how much you have to deal with people and politics even when writing about a dead person. I suppose that is true more or less in many endeavours. It takes a lot of energy, but you are very skilled at that, R! Good luck, as always. You do sound like you are feeling better.

It’s the Thanksgiving weekend coming up, will you be seeing your family? I think our family will be here on Sunday. Yes, I do hope we’ll have a chance to chat on the phone soon. 

October 4, 2007 in Being an Artist, Tools and technology by Marja-Leena