While You Were Away; A Letter

IMG_0080Tasmanian indie publisher Transportation Press’s new project  is a joint undertaking with Iranian-American writer-editor Shirindokht Nourmanesh and Twitch Tasmania. “The Letter Project” seeks to create a dialogue between one part of the world and another. I was chuffed to arrive home from holidays this afternoon to find my letter had been published earlier in the week while I was far from Brisbane, internet or mobile phone service.

To Wish A Letter Into Being

Have you ever been asked to write a letter to you in the past?

It’s one of the sappy kinds of self help exercises I’ve always detested. But somehow, in the last few years I’ve found myself wishing I could actually write a letter to teenage me, a way of saying “hey, there’s all this juicy, awesome stuff in the future. Hang in there” rather than needing or wanting to impart my hard won knowledge *cough* and wisdom *cough* (which I assume is the reason behind the letter as an exercise).

I’ve really just wanted to say, “Hey, here in the future, you get the things you want. They’re just not in the shape you want or expect them or in the time frame you wish it would happen. But it’s all here.”

Post Marked: The Past

Other than the actual practical ability to do so, the idea of sending a letter such as this into the past is based on a couple of assumptions :

  1. The way you remember the past is they way it actually was.
  2. The way you feel in the present about the past, is the way you actually felt in the past, and
  3. Past You wants to hear from Future/Present Day you.

Ah, but what if they are all erroneous assumptions and the tech was two-way?

Dear You

“Dear You” is a semi-fictious, semi tongue-in-cheek, semi-autobiographical piece that opens:

29th October 1989

Dear You,

(I’m not addressing this to “Future Me” because I’m not any version of you.)

You go to all the trouble of writing to me from the future about “that boy” but you don’t tell me who he is. Is he someone I already know? Someone I already like? Someone I have already lost? Someone I’m yet to meet?

And what the hell do you mean by “be patient…

Read on

I have Kris’s gentle nudges to thank for making me sit and write while on holiday and with only a very basic smidgen of an idea to fly a letter by the pants of.

You can read Kris’s letter here, and there’s also a letter by S.G. Larner, plus half a dozen other great pieces of epistolary writing.

Awaken the Social Media Army

And… because I am only a small way through my social media sabbatical I need your help. It transpires, getting the word out about your work without social media is the proverbial silent scream.

So… If you have a minute, please share “Dear You” on Facebook or Twitter. Transportation Press makes it simple with a bunch of social media icons on the bottom of the letter page.

And before you leave… would you or wouldn’t you write a letter to past you if the technology was available?

Image: Letter Box (c) Jodi Cleghorn 2012

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