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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unsent Letters

Unlike many of my posts, I'm quite uncertain today if I have a lot of company on the bell curve; I hope to find out. If you don't want to comment publicly (or have difficulty doing so), please figure out another way to let me know if my experience has any resonance for you.

During my adult life, I have written several letters (both in the pre and post e-mail years) to different musicians, authors, and filmmakers whose work has moved me. I have mailed only one - to author D Patrick Miller about his 1994 volume "Little Book of Forgiveness". I believe the main thing that has held me back is a fear of appearing to be a deranged fan. Since I know anyone can easily choose not to acknowledge receipt of a letter from anyone else, this is clearly irrational. My letters are brief; they do not stray from discussing (in a rational way) the work that has moved me and why. Still, they are unsent letters. I have never once even been tempted to send an e-mail of this nature to anyone. Just letters - unsent.

Wally Lamb's 2009 novel "The Hour I First Believed", moved me very much. In my paperback version, the book is followed by an interview with Lamb where he talks about how he loves hearing from his readers. I wrote a letter. It remains unsent. I am mystified by my reticence. Non-therapeutic insights, anyone?

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