Letter (1) — Message in a Bottle

Photo by Ali Kais on Unsplash

To the Globe at Large and Anyone Who May Stumble Into this Place:

Only half my life ago, we would not have met.

I could have reached one of you, I suppose, by a telephone call made on a device with a cord coming from the wall that was designed strictly for the purpose of verbal communication. Perhaps some scribblings on paper rolled up inside a glass bottle and abandoned to the ravishes of the sea would have found its way to a curious reader. Maybe a mad publisher would have found a collection of unwritten letters mildly fascinating — but that was another place in my life and certainly a different time.

Today, with just a few clicks, I can throw the entirety of my past into the sea of cyberspace for the whole future to find — and here you have found me. Welcome.

What you have happened upon is essentially a memoir comprised of letters I should have written — or it will become one.

There was a time when I wrote a damn fine letter, but the internet and my adulthood aged together. Handwriting gave way to email. Chat rooms morphed into social media. Blogging rose and fell and rose and fell as the world breathed in the same digital space. Instead of sharing our stories with ink and stationery stored in a hat box for generations to find yellowed with memories, we hide behind an easily editable digital glare.

I have been here with you since the beginning — renewing friendships and finding common passions. For all our connections, however, we seem to be drifting further apart. I, for one, stopped writing letters. I cannot entirely blame the internet. My life became quite trying and I allowed myself to be distracted. Still, there are words I must write and letters I need to send. It is far too late for stamps and envelopes and absolutions, but write I will.

I don’t know when or from where you are joining my journey, but know that it is a finite one. This is a project with purpose. Forty-nine letters will be written and that will be the end.

If you arrived at the beginning then much waiting is ahead of you. Come back. That is why we have bookmarks.

Did you land here somewhere in the middle? Feel free to bounce around at your will.

You stragglers at the end may have it better than the rest. The unwritten will be written and you can linger or leave at your leisure.

From whenever and wherever you are reading my letters, my hope is that you find meaning in at least one. Imaginably, you are harboring your words as I once did or you are yearning to absorb them from someone who is not me. Borrow them if you must — especially if healing is what you seek. For in writing these words, I am healed.

Now I toss this message into the vast void of the information superhighway, a place as strange, beautiful, and unyielding as the undiscovered depths of the sea. If it survives — if it winds up on your shoreline — please toss it back in after reading.

Note: The letter above was originally published on September 15, 2018 via Medium. I have since moved all content here.

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