‘One inspirational letter can change your life forever.’
Well that’s something I can certainly stand behind.
It’s no secret that I have an active enthusiasm for the written word, and written correspondence by letter is right up there amongst the favourites. It was much joy that I came across another avid epistolarian, and Jodi has taken her passion one step further by engaging in an letter-writing drive.
Browsing through the latest issue of ‘Oh Comely’–‘Issue 32 in which we talk about letters’-this one had me at hello- I earmarked an article titled ‘Dear Stranger’ about author and poet Jodi Ann Bickley’s project: ‘One Million Lovely Letters’.
To summarise, finding herself swallowed up in darkness whilst suffering from meningoencephalitis (Google was required) Jodi thought of others who were similarly losing themselves. She decided to set up a website, send messages out to the world via Twitter: ‘I’m going to write you a letter…just to make the day a bit better or to remind you of the bloody amazing stuff about you you’ve forgotten.’ Overnight she received two hundred responses from strangers, and Jodi responded to these individually with much care and attention. The project has expanded and unique, thoughtful letters are sent and received across the world by Jodi and her team at ‘One Million Lovely Letters’. Jodi has even brought out a book with the same title to tell her story, and I have just added it to my online “shopping cart”.
We’re the same age, Jodi and I, and that caught my attention on top of the subject matter of the magazine article. We are two individuals, strangers to one another with a shared appreciation for letter writing and understanding of the subtle power which one small gesture can have for the life of someone just at that right moment in time.
This morning I wrote my own contribution to Jodi’s project and future exhibition. Encouraged by the invitation at the end of the ‘Oh Comely’ article: ‘something which would make a stranger’s day’, I sat down with a cup of tea and put pen to paper to scroll out three pages to someone, anyone. I wonder where it will end up. I included a letter for Jodi herself full of praise and enthusiasm, because she should know she’s doing something really inspirational.
For anyone else who might want to take part, you can find more information about ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ here.
And of course, I wouldn’t even know anything about the project without the article by Lottie Storey in ‘Oh Comely’ magazine, and their website can be found here.
“…when I’m letter writing it feels a little bit like magic”.