Saturday, October 01, 2016

Free Love Letters 2016

For the fifth year in a row, I am kicking off today my own personal creative project called "Free Love Letters," dedicated to celebrating love in all its forms.

The FLL project celebrates love itself, not love for any specific person. To me, love is the most powerful force for good we have in the world (#LoveTrumpsHate). I sincerely believe that if there's more love in the world, it will make the other problems we have easier to handle.

Each October as we enter the dark half of the year, my energy for creativity and renewal waxes when for many people the opposite is true. It is perhaps telling that nearly all of the romantic relationships in my life have begun in cold weather, not in the heat of summer.

So each October, I write a personalized love letter to anyone who requests one by sending me their physical mailing address between now and 11:59 pm ET on October 31. Even if you've gotten one before, if you enjoyed it I encourage you to request another! Everyone who gives me an address will get a letter - guaranteed - whether we've known each other a minute or a decade.

Each love letter will be handcrafted using some of the many tools I've collected over the years - fine writing instruments, a vintage manual typewriter, various seals and waxes, handmade papers, etc. Once completed, it will be delivered to you anywhere in the world by old-fashioned postal carrier and thus its contents will be as confidential as things get in this modern world.

Your letter may be philosophical or romantic, funny or sincere. It might be perfumed or decorated. It might recall some tiny, distant memory of our time together, or it might be five pages long if we have a history. It might be lyrics to a love song that reminds me of you. It could be a story I've always wanted to share with you, but never found the right moment to tell it.

But whatever it is, it will be honest, and it will be about you and me - and whatever is between us and how it relates to the experience of love. It will be the product of my deep reflection about you and possibly a lot of research on how we've interacted over the years. And for those moments it takes you to read it, you and I will share a personal and physical connection that is so rare in this fleeting digital world.

Since I started doing this project, the number of requests have grown significantly - one in 2011, three in 2012, five in 2013 and 10 in both 2014 and 2015 - 29 letters in the last four years. I usually don't start writing them until after October because I shop for materials only after I see all the requests. So it may take a few months to receive your letter, but I promise you will get it (unless it gets lost in transit) and that it will be worth the wait.

Finally, no response will be expected from you - the letter is my gift with no strings attached. All individual letters and requests will be kept confidential on my end, but you are welcome to share the experience publicly if you wish, as many people do #freeloveletters