LETTERS OF GRATITUDE
Dear Chris, Love Fernando and George x
Hand write a letter to someone letting them know how you feel about them and how you appreciate them…..
Call me old fashioned but one of my most favourite things are hand written letters. I have a huge box stuffed with old cards, letters and doodles sent to me across the school classroom, airmailed from America or pen palled from around the world . A large pile has the bold distinctive hand writing of my friend Sophie, who showered me in collages, love letters and post-it notes frequently. Distraught by the fact that I wouldn't see her for a whole two months whilst she went to Camp America she would appease me with long letters outlining every frolic of her trip and would demand the same in return . I couldn’t bare to throw them out and I would’t because to me they are treasure! Every couple of years I stumble across the box and find myself soaked in happy nostalgia, reminded that no matter how far, we are under the same sky.
I was ready for this task but the list of people I wanted to write to was endless. There was my Mam - Lord, how I needed to thank her! But as I was currently sitting beside her on the sofa that might have been a bit odd. There was my Dad, and yet I remembered the time I tried to tell him just what I love about him and it got a little weird. There was my brother and my sister who I have always admired from the days of following my brothers choreographed spice girls routine around many rooms and the first time I declared my sister Bianca, “For President”! There are friends who have come and gone but who certainly have left a trace and there are friends who have remained firmly rooted and stuck no less like an octopus to my face. There are family members who have looked after me above and beyond their dutiful role as an Aunt, Uncle, Granny, Cousin or in law, with conversations that impacted my life without them even knowing it. I wish to write to my Uncle Jack who passed away almost a year ago, I guess to say farewell and thank him for inspiring me as the artist and all round amazing human being that he was. A gentleman in the truest sense of the word - he was kind, generous and practical with a naughty glint in his eyes and soul. I wish to write to my Granny Pat who I never had the good fortune to meet, to thank her for the knowledge, advice and wit that she has passed down to my mum, and who has in turn shared with me. I could write to colleagues who became my best friends when I needed them most and who made me laugh more than I have ever in my life. There are strangers, acts of kindness and moments that feed into your existence so gently that you barely notice, I could also write to them. There may even be a love letter itching to be written. Whilst there are many letters I know I will write I will start with a thank you that is long over due…….
I wasn’t feeling particularly fresh having dragged myself from the darkness of my duvet one Saturday morning. In fact I was rather gloomy. My flat desperately needed some TLC and in my sleep deprived state I was feeling pitifully sorry for myself. But as I negotiated the clothes strewn floor I spied a brown cardboard package in my hallway - a parcel! For me?! I opened it with eager anticipation, taking ten seconds too long for logic to catch up with greedy excitement and finally I reached for the scissors. I unravelled a gorgeous classic orange ‘Leuchtturm’ notebook and a rather swanky fountain pen. With honest bewilderment I thought about how my gift giver could possibly know me so well in sending me such a treasured item and considered what Id done to deserve such a lovely present. Equivalent to a pig in shit is me in a room filled with stationary, pretty paper and notebooks so as you can imagine I was genuinely touched. I’d forgotten about an email telling me to expect some post so was surprised to see Chris Barèz-Brown’s lavish scrawl on the inside front page thanking me for my contributions to The Great Wake Up journey. This gift from a stranger, or rather a distant virtual friend who I have yet to meet was enough to put a spring in my step and open my eyes to the beauty of the day. A simple reminder that someone is thinking of you, and not only that but thankful for you reminded me to express my gratitude and share the love with those who I too appreciate. In that moment I was really rather chuffed and a little overwhelmed by this simple act of gratuity. But the pleasure is absolutely all mine and so Thank you Chris not only for such a wonderful present but for the other bloggers who I have come to know and love via their wonderful words and of course for the greatest gift of all, The gift of waking up! A gift that keeps on giving.
A million times thank you,