The Secrets in Enclosures
Each month, I enclose something in each of my outgoing letters. Every month it's something different. This is what I sent (and am sending) throughout February. They are my take on a friendship bracelet and a charm bracelet. I combine a charm (chosen especially for the recipient) and weave it into an infinity knot bracelet. The recipient ties it on with a double knot until it falls off. When it finally falls off, the luck from the bracelet has worn off. Sure, it's a superstition, but a fun one.
I wasn't so sure I'd share my enclosures with the world, but you know what? It might inspire someone to write a letter. I will admit I feel a little exposed sharing with you something so private between my correspondents and I. I have a hunch, though, that you'll appreciate it.
Letters are like private conversations. Good ones; ones that happen between old friends who never judge. When your friendship is rooted on paper and colored with ink, things like this matter. There is no body language to decipher; no inflection to figure out. If you want a true friend, look in the mail.
An enclosure can take many forms. Enclosures from my pen pals include things like photos of family or drawings or etegami. Sometimes, I get tiny hand-carved rubber stamps or a neat vintage stamp someone said reminded them of me.
I picked my enclosures in December of 2011 for this year. They are each special to me and hopefully will be special for the recipients. Adding an enclosure is a way to really personalize your letter and a way to connect with a far off friend. It's a memento they can keep. It's something to remember me by. It's a detail of life found tumbling out of paper and ink.