"Alas! Alas! Silence or sound, there is no substitute."
--from the love letters of Lauren Kindle
Envelopes As Art
In honor of Valentine's Day, today's blog post features love letters. I have always regarded envelopes as blank canvases, and I'm not alone. In the book Illustrated Letters: Artists and Writers Who Correspond, you can see the painted letters and envelopes of great artists such as Picasso and Corot. If you are local, I would be happy to loan you my copy of this book.
Reading through my old letters was a wild ride. Who writes "alas!" more than once in a sentence? Me. I do. Or I did when I was twenty, anyway. I credit my successful conquest of Ian not so much with the artistic quality of these letters, but with the sheer quantity and intensity of my correspondence.
There are dozens of letters, enough to fill a few boxes in our attic, and most of them are too embarrassing and private to share publicly. I'll just share a few excerpts, to give a hint at the contents of the envelopes.
Dearest, sweetest, most beloved man...
So close, so sweet, so dear to me. Am I writing a letter to my own heart?
Are you reading the words written by your very Soul?
You are a beautiful, enchanted spring in a magical forest in which I am completely lost and thirsty, but drinking your water transforms me...
Only at night can I resume my human form, but I can never leave the forest.
Just as Psyche, a mere mortal woman, went trembling into the garden into the arms of the unknown, and found to her ecstasy that she embraced Eros, the god of love himself, so I found myself when I found you.
I became a goddess when you gave me your love.
You are a fair and adventurous sky over the ocean.
I love you with such passion-- If I let go of this pen my body would fly into heaven.
I listen to music night and day, vainly trying to fill the emptiness of your absence.
Alas! Alas! Silence or sound, there is no substitute.
How can you do this to me?
My pen is alive and insane! It will not stop-- my heart flows through it.
I hope and I wish...I will be rash enough, brave enough, foolish enough, insane with holy love...
Perhaps I shall ask you to marry me...