Lovely Letters: A Gorgeous Message To An Activist In Philly

This past month, I’ve been honored to craft lovely letters, stories, poems, & words for some incredible individuals.

As I’m shifting away from this blog to focus exclusively on the shop, I’ll be highlighting these stories on my mailing list, instead. You can receive an email every Wednesday by subscribing.

Today’s feature is a wonderful note crafted by my friend, Maggie. She’s an insightful, compassionate, & creative woman I met many moons ago while passing through Philadelphia in 2014. She caught a beautiful moment on camera while I was typing Free Poetry for people in Rittenhouse Square; the picture she took was part of her photography exhibit weeks later, alongside many other amazing street portraits she had taken throughout the season.

I sill remember the theme for her show: “gratitude.”

Typewriter Poetry greeting card by Billimarie - Fruit Tree - Front of Card

Earlier this week, Maggie gifted a personalized #BlackLivesMatter card to a friend & fellow activist in Philly. Typing her thoughtful message took me back to a time several years ago, when I worked in Jersey doing activist work for prisoners’ rights. Creatively, I had stopped giving away Free Poetry and focused instead on building a (now defunct) nonprofit project called CLASP. My fellow co-founder and I would spend nights shifting through endless piles of legal papers & notes, editing legal cases brought against the State by prisoners we were representing pro bono. In my free time, I coordinated weekly volunteer coding sessions for the US Prosecutor Database, an open-source tech project I created after being inspired by Angela Davis’ “Arbitrary Justice.”

…I also practiced cooking crêpes to feed my friends.

Typewriter Poetry greeting card by Billimarie - Fruit Tree - Inside of Card

I’m grateful to have such memories. In an alternate universe, I’d already be at the CHAZ (as I was at Occupy LA, & COP-21 in Paris). In this universe, I remain cautiously at home with my daughter, often walking through my mother’s garden with her in my arms, slowly guiding her to sleep. As one season ends and another begins, I am thankful to be in a place where I can pass the spirit of a thing through, like a bridge or a tunnel.

Without further ado, here’s the letter in its entirety:

Dear Paige,
Thinking of you, and ever-inspired by your commitment to justice. These days I am often reminded of the Audre Lorde quote, "If they cannot love and resist at the same time, they probably will not survive." Love and resistance are of equal merit, and I hope you are making room for both at this crucial  moment. You shine so brightly to everyone lucky enough to be in your orbit, and it's a privilege to be among those touched by  your brilliance.
Love always,
Typewriter Poetry greeting card by Billimarie - Fruit Tree - Back of Card

Thank you Maggie for inspiring this reflection—& for your kindness, your strength, & ever-flowing generosity.

With Love,

There’s more lovely letters like this one on the Typewriter Poetry Substack.

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