Last Friday, instead of creating my normal weekly enewsletter, I just sat down and wrote a letter.
I went into Constant Contact (the program that lets me send out individual emails to the 7,000 people on my email list each week), I pulled out all the bells and whistles, the ‘click to see this in your browser,’ the ‘post this to social media,’ all the images and the links … and just wrote a letter about what was happening in Boston and how disconnected I felt, here in a Boston satellite town.
I just needed to really connect.
I even changed the font on the email so it looked like a letter to me, using the old Courier font that I loved from things I wrote as a kid, on typewriters like the dusty old Royal that sits on my studio shelf … with its incongruous, marvelous beveled window on the side so you can see the mechanics of its keys at work – and its keys sticking like they were hoping you’d start writing.
Last Friday was a moment I needed to step out of my role as performer, composer, orchestrator, online-course-designer, whatever — and just reconnect as human-to-human.
And what happened afterwards helped me stitch my life back together.
After the email went out we got the usual flurry of “out-of-office” responses … but then real responses began coming in. Some simple, some long. Some with stories about the writer’s own feelings and disconnect, or about their family; some with just ‘My heart is with everyone in Boston.’
And instead of listening to the news, or checking the Twitter feed, I just sat there and wrote back to each person.
Email after email, each one like a stitch with silken thread. Each email brought me closer and closer to connection. I could feel it happening. Like sewing a strong patch over a big hole on a beloved pair of jeans – each stitch, each email, made me more able to fit back into my own life.
I wrote nearly 80 emails that day, and every one was a tiny stitch in my sense of connection.
So … thank you.
To everyone who reached out to me via email, or Facebook or Twitter or my blog, and to the others who reached out in spirit … thank you.
Thank you for being part of that thread.