I have been exchanging letters and cards, notes and scraps of paper with poems written upon them, in the mail, with friends, for years. Since childhood. Since…I can remember the first time:
His name was Hughie O’Donnell. Hugh was a friend of my father; A teacher. I had stayed with Hugh and his wife Marguerite for a week when I was eight (my father, being a theatre arts teacher, and taking my mother with him, had gone to New York City with his students). I loved books, and Hugh loved words. It was a magical week in my life.
After that week was over, Hugh began writing me letters that would be delivered to my grade three class through the school board postal system. Hugh, having MS, no longer had the use of his hands, so these letters were written by a computer that he would speak into. Every letter was accompanied by a book.
It doesn’t matter the circumstance, if you are eight years old, and you have an adult in your life who cares enough about you to write you, and send you books to spark your imagination, it is going to have a lasting, positive effect. Hughie O’Donnell was that adult in my life.
Now, years later, both Hughie and my father have passed away.
Now, years later, I have envelopes upon envelopes stuffed full of letters from friends.
Written correspondence, between my friends and I, has been a most inspiring and innovative Catch-22 in life. I write them, they write me back! They write me, and I return the exchange! My pen pals and I have exchanged secrets and dreams. We have sent post-it notes, Betty Boop sunglasses, and packets of tea. We have written movie scenes, haikus, and pages and pages of questions – answered and left untouched. We have written each other while laying on beaches and sitting in european cafes; we have used typewriters, computers, crayons, and pens to scribble words and pictures, diagrams and love notes.
And so it is, with this history of love and loss, writing and friendship, that I begin Lefty Smudges. It is with years of experience, and armed with tangible, physical evidence of the power of correspondence that I deign to create cards, notes and packages that will keep the art of correspondence alive.
Lefty Smudges will be that friend who always writes. Lefty Smudges will be that friend who always sends the best cards, and the most exciting packages. Lefty Smudges will remember every occasion, and celebrate every moment of Joy. Lefty Smudges will. It will be my pleasure.
So, have I given you enough information to start a conversation? Have I revealed enough of my artistic aesthetic to incite your curiosity? I do hope so.
This is gonna be good.