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One letter: Two people out of time.

Alejandra Correa is a poet, visual artist and cultural manager, she lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and she is also one of the creators of the Festival de Poesía en la Escuela (Poetry at School Festival).

Alejandra Correa

Alejandra is also the author of Si tuviera que escribirte (If I had to write you), title of our Caprichos (Caprices) collection, where we find books without book format that flee from stereotypes and qualifications. Si tuviera que escribirte is a loving device to wind up the days, consisting of 28 postcards made entirely by our author, where we can find in each of them a collage and a poem. Available in our online shop.

Cubierta "Si tuviera que escribirte"

Interior "Si tuviera que escribirte"

Well, this week Alejandra has given us a wonderful text so that we can start our Monday reading and enjoying her a little bit more.

One letter: Two people out of time.

A letter is a small body.

It is tangible, it is paper and handwriting, but it also has a dimension that escapes that medium: there are traces of the body that wrote, both physical and ungraspable.

There is the trembling of the handwriting, the breathing, the way the lines are arranged and say something that adds to the message.

And there is what is chosen to say, but also what is chosen to remain silent, what is read in the silence of the letter. The pauses, the elliptical, what is insinuated, the break in the subject from one paragraph to the next... In other words, a large number of details that make this small body of paper unfold in the recipient and build a world of elastic walls.

The letter itself is a sounding board of a self in the other, both for the writer and for the recipient of the letter. There is something that could be called "longing for the other": in writing we think, we delineate, we approach this otherness in order to bring it closer, to ask it to listen to us, to understand us, to contain us, to love us.

The letter is a request and a donation at the same time. If we talk about letters of friendship or love (there are also letters of hate and break-ups and bad news), I understand this link as an invitation to intimacy.

Why would we write a letter today, with the technological means that make our messages travel at the speed of light?

To stop time and look into each other's eyes again. To say in each other's ears those unique and secret words that we use only with those who have entered the realm of our intimacy.

To give that other an intimate offering made with our handwriting and our breath, our thoughts and our best words. To put on record our ability to say something unique to each other through a unique medium (no two handwritten letters are the same). It is to bet on the craftsmanship of communication between two people. It is a weaving, a stitching between two hands, between two shores of the world.

We can perfume a letter or leave it naked with the scent of the paper. It is a subtlety, something delicate and unique. Therein lies its value and its beauty for those who want to go through the experience. Today we could see it as a ritual, something of the order of the sacred, a way of communicating that lasts over time and through those who are the sender and the receiver. A way of bearing witness to that bond.

On the other hand, there is the experience of time that the letter proposes: it is radical view from our present time. It is an experience against all speed. It stops time, it makes it live in a different way.

The time of waiting is also a time of intimacy. To wait for you is to dream of you, to trace maps in solitude towards otherness. What is special and marvellous about the time of the letter is that the writer writes today, in the present, but the one who will receive the letter will do so in the future. The one who receives the letter receives it today, but the message is from the past, it belongs to the time of the one who wrote it several days, months or years ago. This is highly poetic. A revealing experience.

When I do workshops based on the book If I had to write to you, I suggest to the participants that they concentrate on the recipient, that they think that what they are going to write is an offering. Incredible things happen: love letters, letters asking for forgiveness, letters that clear up ghastly secrets or that ask for something. I remember a man in Alcalá de Henares who wrote to a woman who was the love of his life, but she didn't know it. Or a lady who wrote to her granddaughter so that the letter would be there for her when she was no longer alive. Really touching things happen. It is love that speaks.

I am a poet; I believe in these things because they have changed my life.

Alejandra Correa

#Situvieraqueescribirte #Publishing #Ourbooks #Team #Authors

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