I am still writing to to my friend in prison. He is teaching me a lot about appreciating life, letting go of things I cannot change, and not forgetting things I am blessed with.
In his own words he is afraid of forgetting things we take for granted each and every day such as the taste of certain foods, smells, and relationships. He has no choice of foods. He misses the smell of a forest. His incarceration has been hard on his relationships.
He is afraid of losing what is the core of his essence, his tenderness, empathy and kindness.
I continue to write to him, mostly about every day things, attempting to make him a part of my life.
I would not have been brave enough to start sketching if I didn’t know him. He is the most talented artist I know and so I sometimes send him my sketches. He graciously compliments my efforts and tells me to keep working on my art.
The thing I think he is worried most is his relationships, especially will we be here for him when he is released?
What can a letter accomplish? Can it change somebody’s day? Change their life?
Not just the recipient. What does writing letters do for the writer?
I’ve been writing to somebody in prison for about three years. He and I have become friends and I am also getting to know his dad. His dad has told me many times how much my letters are appreciated.
I was surprised at how hard it was to sit down and write an interesting letter. Now that I have shared enough stories about my life with him the writing has become easier.
I wonder if writing letters is like writing a book? At first you have to get the reader acquainted with the story. As the reader learns more and more about the story, the story flows from your thoughts.
I wonder, when he reads my letters and since he knows so much about me now, is he able to escape into my story sometimes?
Reading my friend’s letters and remembering how hard it was for him to share his life in those first few letters is amazing. It’s amazing because his writing has improved so much and now sometimes when I read his letters I can imagine what his daily life must be like.
My friend is a true artist. I just realized if I stuck all of his letters together it would be one awesome story!