In some quarters, the second week in January is considered National Letter Writing Week. There seems to be a difference of opinion on the subject. If we allow every week to be a time of correspondence and sending odd, lovely or controversial snail mail, the debate evaporates.
One of my Christmas gifts was a copy of FLOATING WORLDS: The Letters of Edward Gorey and Peter F. Neumeyer. Neumeyer is interviewed on the subject HERE.
Examples of illustrated envelopes from the book.
Mr. Gorey simply makes me want to be better at everything I set my hand to.
Other post-Christmas musings.
The Christmas tree still sits beside the bookcase but the lights have not been turned on for three nights now. I leave the Christmassing of our home to my son. It asks more than I have to make it happen. Yet I would not be unhappy to have that warm glow of the lights for a bit longer. For years (years!) I’ve thought of having some light strings in my bedroom - I have a string of heart-shaped lights which haven’t left the box since I bought them 12 or so years earlier. There are unused clear lights I could add, maybe a spare clutch of the small, multi-colors I favor, left from when we got bigger trees. Our artificial, pre-lighted tree has been the right answer on so many levels. When the in-town tree farm prices hit $80 for the smallest fir, I knew we were finished with that. Freshly cut and drilled to drink up water from its specifically-designed stand, it would stay moist and fragrant. We’d bought from the farm for so long that I no longer trusted the dried-out offerings from tree lots. Especially as December almost always brings wind which speeds the drying. And there was no reason or possibility of going to the Chinatown auctions to buy a tree right off the train. Our little bright tree is just right. But there is something that reaches beyond the season in the lights, plus the string of large, old-fashioned bulbs we have draped around the wrought iron baker’s rack that holds the children’s book collection. Both bring an inner and outer warmth, the absence of which I feel when they have been extinguished for the year. It would be a gift to me, and not take away from what the Christmas lights add to human days when it is their season, to allow myself the simple gift of finding a place to drape, in safety, a few strands of light that I could see from bed, like having a bit of Christmas, like a plate of cookies each bedtime, to sweeten the fact of being human, of longing for what cannot be had or regained. Light and color feed my soul. I need to take that more seriously.