email from the heart

January 17, 2016 - Daily Notes

Even email can be a practice in giving voice to the heart. These days, especially email. 

Today is Sunday and my to-do list for Lucia is singular: Answer every email. First, the messages I've been saving for days--even weeks--from writers, bloggers, artists and others. Before starting Lucia, I did expect I'd receive a lot more email. Twenty years working in public relations, where it has been my job to get the attention of editors and journalists for my clients, has taught me that an editor's inbox gets outrageously full.

Now I am learning the art of replying.

I have yet to master it. I do read every email that comes. I do not often reply immediately because I do not always know just what I'd like to say. Not at first. Usually I wish for time to linger on someone's blog, peruse her world on Instagram, look up essays he's written before, and gain enough of a sense of who this person is and what they create that my reply will be thoughtful, informed, valuable, authentic and connected.

It's tough to find time for this. I am learning to create time. It is important to me. Communicating with Lucia's readers and future writers is essential. 

It is raining in Seattle and I have one thing only on my list today: Give voice to the heart via emails. All of them. 

How do you manage email? Do you have advice? I am all ears.


love letters

January 10, 2016 - Daily Notes

When was the last time you received a love letter? When was the last time you wrote one?

I penned one last night. A reply, after having spent the entire day subconsciously preparing myself for the act. Truthfully, the last two weeks were spent preparing for it. Matters of the heart are often so tender every word feels potentially life-altering. The words we choose matter. And they don't. And they do.

First, a morning acupuncture appointment. "Yes, your pulse does feel a bit wiry," she agreed, showing me pressure points on my feet that would soothe this mysterious onset of edginess. Mysterious only if one does not happen to mention that she plans to respond to a heartfelt love letter later in the day.

Then procrastination--er, preparations--began in earnest. I stopped for my favorite coffee on the way home. I wrote a blog post about a new book of poetry. I looked around my house and decided I MUST CLEAN EVERYTHING before I can do anything. So I did. Everything includes the toilet, the shower, the refrigerator (eek!), the laundry (all items), and the vacuuming (all rooms). When those were done, I decided I must clean myself. Every candle in the house lit, all the lights off. I showered. I meditated. I called on angels, guardians, muses and guides...especially lighthearted ones...to come and help me.

At 8:30pm, I sat down to write.

A draft first. Short notes to guide writing the send-worthy version and make sure I say the most important things. I used a purple uniball because all of my black pens are out of ink. I did my best to write not too much, not too little. Each sentence was honest and true. I considered how it might be received. I made each word count. I asked a personal question without apologizing for it. I wrote from my heart. 

This feels alive, this willingness to be vulnerable (thoughtfully so). Maybe the objective is not to "make a relationship work." Maybe it's bigger than that. Maybe the higher aspiration when it comes to loving another person is to try to understand and then communicate what is in our own hearts and listen to what is in theirs. If we do this, over and over, and if we receive the same in return...well...that is what makes true love sustainable.

Meeting a soulmate, falling head over heels from the very first moment, it does happen. And it's beautiful. I've seen it, dozens of times. Living happily ever after? That's trickier. I think love letters may have something to do with it. 

Have you written one lately?