This year, as part of a sort of New Year’s resolution, I promised myself that I would write more letters to my friends. As the days left in January slowly disappeared, I began to think that this resolution would join most others in the New Year’s resolution graveyard. Then two things happened:
- I discovered the wonder that is Dr Maya Angelou.
- The women’s marches against today’s political climate took place.
Well, you can’t beat a bit of girl power can you?
Dr Maya Angelou was many things during her life. They include a civil rights activist, singer, writer and director. However, she is perhaps best known for her poetry. The week I met Maya Angelou’s work for the first time, I spent most of my evenings reading her poems and devouring videos of her reciting her work and telling her life story on YouTube. Written on the page, her words are a thing of power and beauty. Listening to her recite her poems aloud in her deep, rumbling tones breathes such life into her poems that it is electrifying.
I sent my first six letters of the year to some of my phenomenal girl friends. I felt a little wobbly writing using pen and paper at first and I was slightly worried about how they would be received. However, as I penned each subsequent letter the whole process felt liberating. I printed off and enclosed a copy of Maya Angelou’s ‘Phenomenal Woman’ in each letter and posted them the next day. If you would like to read it (and I wholeheartedly encourage you to), you can find it here.
My letter-sending anxiety was short-lived. Within days the first reply from one of my friends fluttered through my letterbox and was waiting patiently for me to come home from work. Seeing that letter filled me with the same excitement I used to feel when I was little and had pen pals in Germany and France.
There are very few things in life that are better than receiving a slice of happiness in the post from the people who you love.
Needless to say, I am now hooked.