As a way into thinking about gifts, I want to think about what a gift _does_. What is it that distinguishes a gift exchange from a buying/selling kind of transaction? Superficially, the use of money perhaps (except in the case of barter)—but I think there's something deeper... arrow_right_alt


Were we ever taught to open presents, or did we all just do it our own way from the beginning? arrow_right_alt

lock 7.

More to add on what I brought up in my last letter: the incomprehensible miracle that is you and I _encountering_ each other, here, today, in this form, in this place...

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lock 6.

Sometimes I wonder how anyone can bear the isolation that comes along with existing in a physical body. Each of us with our wall of skin that keeps us apart for all time. That no matter how close we get, I'll never get to experience even one moment in the exact way that you do, nor you me...

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lock 5.

The number of things I'm dying to tell you about, all at the same time. It's not coming up with things to say that's hard here, or even figuring out how to say them; it's trying to somehow funnel this entire unruly cloud of things in my mind—all unsorted yet all interconnected in so many ways...

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lock 4.

In my last letter I started to lead us toward considering a state of mind and soul I call bewilderment, a state that can be found for example in that moment when you go from being situated, knowing where you are and how you fit into your surroundings... to being lost—that is, without a map...

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lock 3.

There is a slate quarry somewhere in Vermont. It's an enchanted place, a ways out behind the school I went to, the kind of place you can almost only find if someone who knows the way leads you there your first time. I once tried to simply ask for directions to get there...

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I think I can't convey what corresponding with you means to me without first explaining my relationship to waiting. (What's correspondence, after all, if not mostly waiting, punctuated by brief bursts of activity? Like our universe. Mostly empty space, which is never really empty.) arrow_right_alt


It's taken me some thought to put a name to the new feeling that's come to me ever since I started preparing to write to you. What I've decided to call it: the feeling of the first day of residency. I mean an artist residency, a workshop, or any scenario where I've come to a new place... arrow_right_alt

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