… sign up for my TinyLetter. It’s called “hello, dearest,” and it’s really just a way for me to practice essaying in the form of letter-writing, which is one of my favorite mediums. I’ll send you love letters about writing, art, creativity, life, grief, joy and all the bits of ephemera in between.
Here’s an excerpt from the first letter I sent:
We are here, in the thick of the summer, and all I can think about is the family farm where I spent 13 years of my life. There is something about the way life swells there, so thick it’ll burst: the whir of cicadas, the rustling of trees as a breeze cuts through, the sound of semis careening down Route 20, carried across the flat fields, landing as the faintest roar. The droning of mowers and the loud, incessant beeping of farm equipment dot the auditory landscape like some slow, earthly Morse code.
The complete sensory immersion prompts the process of recall, and is in itself a perpetual clamber back to memory. Let me meditate on that word for a second: clamber. Part climb, part crawl, part breathless scramble. That’s the way summer feels for me.
One of the reasons I’ve done this — beyond the foremost desire to have a more personal connection with folks — is to help lessen the amount of digital distraction in my life.
I’ve been scaling back on social media lately, especially Facebook. The reason is pretty basic, and probably shared among most people: it’s become kind of an overrun, depressing space that has consumed too much of my personal time over the last few years. It’s a creativity-killer. Rather than inspiring me, it sucks me in and drains me. (I’m re-watching “True Blood” this summer, hence the vampire metaphor.)
On the flip side, one area I’m NOT scaling back on is Instagram. I’ve got a newfound love for the IG story, especially as I explore more digital storytelling apps and tools, and it’s been one of the more satisfying creative exercises I’ve tried. I’m kind of obsessed with creativity processes and what helps me or hurts me, and this has been a really fun path of self-discovery. And it helps inspire my writing process, too. Win-win.
Finally, here is a picture of me from vacation. I’m missing Delaware and the water terribly, though I’m also grateful to be home in a place I’ve built.