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The Art of Letter Writing

There is an intricate dance I think most of us miss out on. That is the art of delayed gratification–or, in this specific case, letter writing and snail mail.

Yesterday, a wonderful present arrived for me. I wasn’t expecting it, and that certainly added to the initial gasp-shock-love-dream-daze sensation. It’s a sensation I usually associate with making intense eye-contact with a brave, vivid personality. In the haze of it all, my mind struggled to catch up and rearrange the circumstances.

An epiphany: I had received my letter from Remi.

Typewriter Poetry Envelope Remi Billimarie A Peachy Keen Day

I’m not sure how I stumbled onto Remi’s blog, but I remember falling in love instantly with her art as well as her personality. The first post I noticed was her Pen Review; being an avid pen user myself (for both writing and drawing), I took note of her lovely Copic sketch:

One of my favorite Frida Kahlo quotes, penned by Remi.

Back to the envelope. Where to begin? The penmanship. The collage. I love the fact that she used a Sylvia Plath stamp. A weathered piece from a book: “He quoted Milton’s words to himself lovingly, often.” Even though she didn’t know me, she took the care to cater to my loud and obvious raptures: words.

I let the letter sit for a day, afraid to pierce through the recycled, paper bag envelope. It was made with such care, I didn’t want to ruin it. Inhaling it, letting it fold against my hands, I was transported back to being a kid at my own birthday party. I remember being taken by that special present, the one that wasn’t haphazard in presentation. A touch of ingenuity. You had to wonder about the adult who crafted such a specimen, what kind of life they lived outside this place. You’d scan the scene of average wrappings, and then–! Eyes upon a different mystery. Something that immediately offered a fantastic first impression. Tiptoeing for a closer inspection, the care would reveal itself like evidence: proper tape measurements, accurate angles. No residue. The lack of slack against eager fingertips.

The perfectly wrapped gift.

Typewriter Poetry Envelope Remi Billimarie A Peachy Keen Day

I won’t share the letter she wrote. I like keeping things private. However, I will say if you’d like Remi to be your penpal, I suggest you drop by her blog and say hello–A Peachy Keen Day–or simply fill out her Postable.

I send letters every now and then to a few friends who no longer live in Los Angeles. I’m ashamed to admit I usually forget the opportunity for art is everywhere–including in envelope presentation. After receiving this letter, I will certainly be upping my own letter writing game. If you’d like to be penpals, please feel free to send me your information via Postable. I’d love the opportunity to engage in conscious creation and communication with you.

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14 thoughts on “The Art of Letter Writing

  1. Marty says:

    Billiemarie … This is so awesome – I love this! When I was a young girl, my father encouraged drawing/painting/collaging on envelopes … I had forgotten this and had no idea that this is why … but apparently I have been keeping scraps of different papers (lol) for just this occasion … ;D ;D ;D

  2. I’m so happy that it made it to you safely! Thanks for all your kind words. I’m glad that I got to send you something. Nothing is better then a mysterious envelope in the mail! Hope you have a peachy keen day!

    • Hope you don’t mind me stealing the word “ace” from you. Just the other day, I was talking to a guy from Derby [England] who had such cool slang…compared to me and my boring LA ones (“sweet,” “cool,” “awesome”)

  3. john clinock says:

    to receive such magic in the mail is now a rare delight – does my heart good to hear about it…thanks for sharing…

    • billimarie says:

      It’s true…I just got a letter from another friend a few days ago. It’s amazing the difference in intimacy a mailed letter is, versus on Facebook or texting.

      Hope the new year is treating you well, John!

  4. Francina says:

    Billimarie , that looks like a lovely written letter.. has to be with an enveloppe like that. To receive a handwritten letter is neat indeed. When I was young I had many penpals from around the world ( there was not such thing as Internet or email back then) and I always loved the stamps on the enveloppe too. groetjes, Francina

    • billimarie says:

      When I was younger, I wrote to a few penpals around the US and around the world. I never could keep it going for a long time, though. School would always get in the way. We should be penpals, if you’d like!

      Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

    • billimarie says:

      Likewise. I’ve written to a few people and have got two or three responses back in turn. It’s always a delightful surprise that leaves warm feelings for the rest of the day.

      Happy New Year, Richard!

    • billimarie says:

      You’ll have to fill me in on what “femail” is/means! I googled it but I didn’t get the gist of it.

      Happy New Year, Tammy!

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