Postage from Anon.

Dear Anon: We are on Earth, and the Earth is just one planet in the galaxies. You could compare that to an ant on the patio in this backy-the ant doesn’t know that there’s more than the patio here. He just keeps walking. He doesn’t know he-there’s-he’s just part of a hu-of lots of worlds, and the human race is sort of like that. They-after they’ve discovered what’s up there, they know they’re only a little part of the huge galaxy. I think there probably are many different kinds of lifeforms, cells and organisms. Some may not be visible, some may not have been discovered, and some may be on places we can’t go. And they all might have the same perspective that we do on this, that there might be others, and that maybe they can find them someday, but at the moment, they don’t know. You never know for sure if there is anything in the search. It’s just-it’s an endless quest without knowing what your quest is…it’s just very complicated because you have no proof that there’s anything out there. The only proof is yourself and where you are in the Universe, and you can only make theories. You can never know the truth. That’s one of the hardest questions there is. I would say what the meaning of your life is is what you make it. What you think, what you want your life to be. Nobody can decide what you will do except for you.

 

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Send YOUR Postage to:

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

What is Postage? Learn more here.

Postage from Susan

LEIGH: First, I need to tell you how much I loved your Postage package!

SUSAN: I’m so glad! I could have spent days trying to postpone it – but only because the recipient was so important to me.

LEIGH: Likewise, Susie.

SUSAN: I got over it because I reassured myself that part of my own personal process is about doing what brings me joy and no longer requiring validation, which is why I doodled that quote.

LEIGH: And I loved it so much that I put it at the top of this post. It’s such a powerful quote, made even better by your lettering.

SUSAN: I sent you some doodles that made me smile. They were created during moments of peace, something that is giving me a happier outlook on life.

LEIGH: This is something you and I have talked about a lot over the years. But before we get into that, hang on – I’ve got some brownies about to come out of the oven.

SUSAN: Are you kidding me?! You made brownies?

LEIGH: Of course! I mean, sort of. This is a virtual conversation, after all. In full disclosure to our audience, I should be honest –

SUSAN: That’s really nice of you. You’re really nice.

LEIGH: (laughs) You know how I feel about that word.

SUSAN: Yeah, I know. So you were saying?

LEIGH: Right. In the interest of full disclosure, the transcript of this virtual conversation is based on 1) the card you included in your package, much of which is quoted here 2) parts of our phone calls and 3) a whole lot of text messages over the past few months.

SUSAN: That’s correct.

LEIGH: So what I’m saying is if I want to bake you a pan of melty, fudgy brownies while we talk, we can do that.

SUSAN: Can we eat them on the steps of Sacré Cœur?

LEIGH: Can you imagine?

SUSAN: I can.

LEIGH: That would be crazy! But then of my brain immediately thinks of all the fossil fuels we’d need to burn to get there, which ruins it. We should just eat here.

SUSAN: Fine. So the reason I sent you all of those doodles is because I hope that you can find a similar peace with this ODDLY heavy decision to leave Facebook. It seems like such an easy choice, but being able to do it and be successful in doing it meant that I had to re-examine my priorities, and put myself in a much healthier headspace.

LEIGH: What I loved the most about what happened once you quit is that you started doodling.

SUSAN: I did! I’m a graphic designer, and once I quit social media I needed something to keep my hands busy, so I started doodling again. At first, they were just little doodles on scraps of paper, and then I started making cards for my kids’ lunch boxes. I made a few for my friends – just little business card sized quotes to cheer them up – and suddenly everyone was asking for them!

LEIGH: When you told me that, I almost cried. That’s just the coolest outcome! Since that time you started a new website, and there’s been a surge of interest in your custom lettering and design.

SUSAN: I know, I never expected that! I make art because I love it, but also because it makes people so happy. So much of my creative energy was taken up by social media, and now I’m full of ideas that I channel into my designs. This way is so much better for me.

LEIGH: Better how?

SUSAN: I experience every moment to the fullest. I’m just more present to the people in my life and the world around me. YOU taught me that – even from the dark place you were in.

LEIGH: I had a rough couple of years there, as you know.

SUSAN: I know. And I really hope to be a part of this next journey for you – and you for me. By the way, are you getting any kickbacks from the US Postal Service for this project?

LEIGH: Are you kidding? The postmaster at my local post office wouldn’t even send me a pre-stamped postcard, because government employees aren’t allowed to do that. What’s the world coming to?

SUSAN: Figures. Anyway, we already have all we need. You know that.

LEIGH: We do, but it’s a lot better with friends.

SUSAN: Fierce lady friendships are the best.

LEIGH: You know I’d defend you to the end of the earth!

SUSAN: And you know I think you deserve the world. Happy International Women’s Day, Leigh.

LEIGH: You too, Susie. Now pass the brownies.

 

Send YOUR Postage to:

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

susan.jpg

Postage from Kenton

March 2

“She’s in a better place,”
they will say.

And while this may be true
while it is
truly
deeply
something you
know

Two things
can also be true:

that
This Place
Here
is the place
you want her.

“You’ll see her again,”
they say.

And yes, you know that, too.

But today what matters
is that your arms
crave her.

Your left hand
longs for her
gentleness beside you,
for the physicality
of her, the comfort

The Now.

Sometimes
what the body needs
is greater
than what the mind knows,
greater even (perhaps)
than what the soul knows.

Salt craves sweet
and after a time
tears want laughter
if only for the distraction.

And what I want to say
to you is this:

Your love is bigger.

Big enough
to live fully
in heaven
and whole-
heartedly
on earth

two feet
planted firmly
in sorrow, meanwhile
both hands
filled up with life.

What she knows

is that after so much longing
your love has grown
even bigger,
still.

Your heart has
room
enough
to love it all.

© Leigh Hopkins, March 2, 2016

 

Send your Postage to:

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118 

 

What is Postage? Learn more here.

postage

leigh-hopkins-postage

Send a
postcard
or letter.
Tell a story.
Write a poem.
Ask a question.
Scribble, doodle,
pontificate, divulge.

Be yourself.

When you write to me,
I’ll assume that your post
may be published on my blog.

Subscribe @LeighHereNow
and watch for my reply.

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA 19118

Post me.

My love affair with letters began early. From the age of seven until twenty-seven, I had a long list of correspondents in my cue.

At the top of the list was my grandfather, one of the original Mad Men. He was a graphic designer and painter, and he responded to my letters with his own hand-cut and illustrated cards. My favorite was sent during one of many strep infections – a folding card of a giraffe, which, when opened, expanded to a neck three times the original size, wrapped in a red bow.

At eight, I had my first pen pal, a bunkmate from summer camp.

At eleven, it was a girl from Oregon, someone I met on the Crater Lake hiking trail. At the end of the hike we exchanged addresses, and though I never saw her again, we remained pen pals until I was in college.

At thirteen, mailed letters turned to passed notes.

At seventeen, I developed a crush on a minor league baseball player who lived at the apartment complex where I was a lifeguard. Even after he went on to “The Show,” we wrote to each other every other month for three or four years. Today, I can’t imagine something like this happening.

At twenty-two, my third graders adopted a manatee. For the next three years, all of my classes wrote to the aquarium that tracked her: “Is the cut from the propeller looking any better?” one boy wrote. “Let me know if you need any waterproof bandaids.”

My granny sent coupons and articles, underlining the important parts in wavering scrawl. “Important. This is a good one.”

My brother was my favorite pen pal, by far. Kooky postcards from old diners, scrawled with a story about someone he’d met there. During a year when I had a terrible boss, he decorated blank postcards with monkey faces offering advice.

In 1997, I discovered Hotmail. And everything changed.

The whole world changed. For all of us.

I still have friends all over the world, but the communication has taken on a new form. And as someone who runs a virtual business, I find myself craving the connections I had, back when a “post” included a stamp.

Which is why I’m taking a few steps back.

If you’re a letter writer, I’m inviting you to be a part of my new project, Postage. It works like this:

  1. Send me a postcard or a letter.
  2. Be yourself. Scribble, doodle, ponder, pontificate, tell me a story or write me a poem.
  3. When you write to me, I’ll assume that some portion of your correspondence may be shared on this blog, where I’ll be posting my response.
  4. Subscribe to @LeighHereNow, and watch for my reply.

I’ve been backing away for Facebook for sometime now, and today’s it’s official!

For now, Postage is my playground:

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA 19118

Post me.

how does the moon speak your name?

Have you seen my Beloved? His sweet-smelling tresses

rival the vines that twist through the broken lattice.

 

Longingly, he gazes up through my window

as a tender spring bud craves the sun.
 

Why does the sun kiss the earth?

How does the moon speak your name?

 

O what can come from a love not treasured –

a sweet wine never spilled, a golden door forever locked?

– excerpt from Leigh’s book, copyright TBD

Dear President Nixon

July 12, 1973

Dear President Nixon,

I heard you were sick with pneumonia. I just got out of the hospital yesterday with pneumonia and I hope you did not catch it from me. Now you be a good boy and eat your vegetables like I had too! [sic] If you take your medicine and your shots you’ll be out in 8 days like I was.

Love,

John W. James III
8 years old

Twitterfeed30days

P.S. This post is not indicative of the author’s political views, nor should it be taken as an endorsement of any kind…other than peas. #HappyNewYear

To Have and to Hold

 

Originally posted on March 19, 2011 by liveyourbliss

 

After so much searching, I’ve finally discovered the key to Enlightenment.

Irregular verbs. Portuguese irregular verbs.

No matter how many times I try to tell someone what I used to do, what I wanted, or what I had, all of the words get tangled up inside my head. Instead of using the past tense of ter (to have), querer (to want) or fazer (to make/do), I find sneaky ways to get around it.

 

For example, instead of saying: ”Eu queria muito ter ido,” which means, “I really wanted to go.”


I’ll say something like: “Estou muito triste…eu estava aqui, mas lá não la. A festa estava boa?” This roughly translates to “I am very sad. I was here, but not there. The party was good?”

 

The good part about having to use three times as many words that it really stretches out a conversation. I like to imagine that people see my archaic way of speaking as somewhat mysterious. Perhaps I come across as poetic, or even profound:

 

“I know that which you see is here now. I see this, too, and I know that it is good.”

 

The best part is that my inability to recall the past or future tenses of key verbs means that I can only have, do, or want what is immediately in front of me. 

Just what my little monkey mind needed all along.

traz a lenha pro fogão

On fluttering arms and rhinestone lashes, the feathered passistas TOK-a-chica-ed to the front of the stage. The breath we’d been holding was swallowed by the bateria, this time in four-part harmony:

“Vem Magalenha rojão, traz a lenha pro fogão,
vem fazer armação.
Hoje é um dia de sol, alegria de coió,
é curtir o verão.”

Every hair on my arm whispered “vem.”

‪#‎Memoirwriting‬