Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reconnections Mail Art with Patti Digh

I have a friend I wish I kept in touch with a bit more. I adore her, but time and louder demands keep me from picking up the phone on a regular basis.  I dream of writing her long, insightful letters with prosey details about my life and beautiful snap-shots of my children, but somehow the actual paper and pen is too daunting. After all, since I haven't written her a letter in a long while (okay, ever!) I want to make it a good letter. No, I want to make it a great letter. A masterpiece. A letter to treasure and keep wrapped in a pink silk ribbon, tucked in the corner of the top drawer of the dresser and taken out for frequent re-readings.

I can't just jot down a few lines and say 'hope you are well!' I am frightened by what the poet Etienne Mallarme called le vide papier (the blank sheet) and the idea that my chit-chatty words aren't quite enough for a letter to a friend I haven't written to in years.

You too?

So, this is where Mail Art can come to our rescue. Mail art is collage (usually) that is mailed. Artists create round-robin mail art extravaganzas that go on for years and become layered with meaning and import. We are not going to stress ourselves out, a la Etienne. No, we are going to sit down in a room with Patti Digh and eleven friends and make a collage-y bit of mail art that will be mailed, after the class, to that friend. Patti is one of those writers who makes you think that you, too, dear friend, can be creative and accomplished. For me, I am thinking that being in the room with you and my friend's address and Patti will make la terreur de le vide papier disappear!

All you need to bring is the current address of that friend. We'll take care of the postage!

Class details are here. Call to register, spaces are limited. 919-834-6260.