Monday, March 30, 2009

Letter #7

Dear big love,

I was always lonely in movie theaters, right as the lights dimmed, until I met you. I can barely explain why, It doesn't make much sense, but as the audience disappeared, I acknowledged the lack of your presence (or existence) in my life. Then we met and I havnt felt it since.
I always thought snoring was pretty much the grossest noise you could subject your ears to. You know, that congested, cloggy kind of snoring, like the noise is about to wake you up from a deep sleep. When your loud snore became a comforting noise for me to fall asleep to, I realized I must have been in love.
I was at my parents house recently cleaning out my drawers and setting things in piles; use, save, and give aways, when I came across a box of old letters. You were always much better at love letters than I was. I found a painting of reindeers your sisters had made for me, a robot ornament. I wondered if the deterioration of our relationship, and the effort to be friends afterwards, had been too damaging to ever be in eachother's lives again. And I think about it every day.

Brooklyn, Female, 25

Letters of lost love always make me a little sad. I think almost everyone has experienced that feeling you get after you've let something great slip out of your life; when you start believing that you are truly meant to be together. I, myself, have fought against that feeling. This reminds me of a Citizen Cope song, Youtube "Sideways," this song represents my opinion on this letter and how I empathize with it.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Letter #6

Dear M,
My mind has been spinning in a million directions lately, and I really appreciate you bearing with me. I know it is sometimes a struggle to see things from my perspective, but you continue to try, and I love you for that. I am the way I am because of the life that I've lived and everything that I've been through. In my heart, I know I am a better person for it. One thing I've learned is that communication is EVERYTHING. So, I wanted to share with you how I'm feeling with my birthday coming up and everything that has been on my mind...

Twenty-three used to be "IT" for me. When I was young I used to dream about 23 as that critical "turning point" age. My parents were married when they were 23 and had me shortly after. When I was young, I didn't realize just how much one generation can change so much. "Ring by 23." What was I thinking? Actually, scratch that question. I know what I was thinking. I was a fourteen-year-old child who had fun planning out her life and picturing that big shiny ring with "diamonds that go all the way around." I can smile when I think about it because it makes me realize how much I've grown since then. Don't get me wrong, I am, and will forever be an old-fashioned girl when it comes to the big life/family stuff. And I am absolutely looking forward to someday being a wife and a mother. But it is relieving to know that there are no set timelines in life and that the dreams of my 14-year-old self will not fade if postponed a few years.

What's interesting to me when I think about all of this, is that in my "life plan," I never really knew that the place that I am at in life exsisted. In my all-knowing teenage brain, life consisted of high school, graduation, college, graduation, marriage, family, and the happily ever after. And for some people, that may truly work. But what I didn't know was that there is somewhere between graduation and the happily ever after for ME time. The here and now, what I'm living day to day... Trust me, it took a lot of troubleshooting to figure out how important this is. I have a few amazing people in my life who helped me along the way to realize that I have control over the direction of my life and my happiness... and that includes you. You are one of the most easy-going, understanding and caring people I know, and I am truly blessed to have you in my life.

I know I get worried about us and the future sometimes, and you remind me that everything will be okay. And everything will work out the way it's supposed to. That is what I didn't know when I was younger. I thought I needed a plan because I thought that's how life worked. I thought you planned it out, and then it happened. This is a life lesson that I am grateful to have learned by the age of 23. Things don't always work out according to "plan." In fact, the best things really do happen when you least expect it. Not everything is chance, no. We are in control of our own lives, but we also have to take it as it comes and know that everything will work out if we believe it will. I'm not sure if everything happens for a reason... some people believe whole-heartedly that it does. Regardless, I have to be okay with the fact that I'm not going to have all the answers. But I am going to continue down this road that I'm on with faith in the fact that right now, I am exactly I'm supposed to be... and that is happily and very much in love with you. Everything else.. in time, will follow.

Love, K (23, female, Boston, MA)

I love this letter. I think it's incredibly necessary that attention is drawn to the subject matter here. "K" is discussing how she discovered that women actually have time for a life. We have time to establish ourselves as individuals, to climb the social and economic latter. We no longer have to pair off after college. We can follow our dreams, travel the world, get our Masters; our twenties are no longer dedicated to marriage and family as it was in for passed generations.

Also, like "K", I have always felt like I needed to have a big plan; a checklist I can carry with me throughout my life. Mine is a bit different than "K"'s though, more career oriented. Even so, our twenties are a time of exploration. They are the years that women fought for in our passed generations. It would almost seem like a waste to marry before 26 (I learned that couples who marry between 26 and 28 have the best chance of staying together).

I can see how this personal conflict "K" went through was intense. Realizing that the life you believed in as a child is actually a cloudy version of reality is hard; but our lives are long, and we have time to let it play out and let the chips fall where they may.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Letter #5

I have in fact, contributed to the death of the love letter... I stopped writing cause I thought it was silly! Looking through some old blogs, here is what I found:

March 15, 2005

What I meant to say was
For a long time I could only find
Religion in the church bulletin board signs
Outside on the road
Telling me which way to go and what way to lead my life
What I really mean is
Underneath it all I only found
Religion in your smile
But you've been gone more than a while and so I've been sinning
What I really mean to say is
Sometimes I want to go for long walks away
But I won't
You prey on me with religious temptations
I've lost myself
I don't mean to stay
But I can't tread away from the altar in your eyes
Thoughts tumble down green hills
Into the shallow naked valley that is my mind
Mine that you unwind and yet contracted
I want to go back and spend
All my offerings unto your lap in friendly recompense
What I had been meaning to say is
Some day is
Too soon and I know
That day is near
And I fear I won't have my salvation before then...when?
I'm scared
But what I was really saying is that
I deposit my soul into your plate
And I will wait
And Well
Until you notice that it is gone
That is to say
What I really want to say

3000 miles
September29, 2004

he is the greatest navigator
so when he left i was lost without him
he has the sharpest brain
so when he left i thought i lost my mind
he has the warmest heart
so when he left my bed was cold
his smile shines the brightest
so when he was gone my days turned gray
he has the safest arms
and when he left i felt unprotected
i have an empty space
so when he returns
he will fit
(25, NYC)

I first saw the title of this letter/poem and grumbled because I didn't really know how to approach a 'religious' post. After reading it however, it struck me like that one song off Madonna's American Life album... 'I'm not religious/but I feel so moved/makes me wanna pray/pray you'll always be here/I'm not religious/but I feel such love...' I don't know. Anyways... from a writing standpoint, the repetition of what Erica tries to convey in the first part ( look for the word mean) helps to make this read like a strong vignette. The piece eventually folds out into repeating the word say... which I think is interesting considering its something written, not spoken. I'm not trying to be too literal, it's cool to me though.

As for the second piece/part of this letter/poem... I was ever so charmed how it dwindled down to single words. When it comes to poetry, I am the worst. I can't rhyme, it never comes across the way I want it to and seems forced. But Erica wrote this in a way that was so effortless that the words melted away on my tongue as I read it aloud to myself.

This 'empty space' is sweet. But what is up with us holding places for people to come back to? I'm not knocking it because I certainly do/have done it, but how can you tell when you're holding that special place in your heart/arms/bed for that special someone - that they really are your special someone? Does anyone have letters that express how you knew or didn't know that a person was meant (or meant not) to be? - Amber

Letter #4

This is for my current boyfriend. I was in a 2 year relationship with someone who treated me terribly but our romance was like something out of a chick flick. Lots of "you're the love of my life, I can't live without you, blah blah blah." But we broke up after he cheated on me several times. Somehow it only made my belief in love stronger, however. Especially because even if he didn't treat me well, I knew Istill had the ability to love someone with all my heart. Then I met my current boyfriend. It started very slowly and I was certain it was just going to be a summer fling. Everything was so calm and there was no drama I was sure something had to be wrong, but now I realize that's exactly what's right. While we acknowledge that we love each other very much and we do have the mushy moments, everything is far more genuine. We're best friends, he makes me laugh, and inspires me to try new things. Instead of fights that end in tears we rarely
argue, if we do have an argument it lasts about five minutes. I'm not saying relationships can't have fighting, but I think successful ones talk things through and come from an understanding that you're not going to agree 100% of the time, if you agree 60% of the time you're lucky. And with that; this goes out to the love of my life:

There are things I’d never tell you, because I know how you get,
But still there are things I write to you so that I’ll never forget.
I can’t tell you the last time I felt this inspired,
I’m so in love with you that it’s making me tired.
And even though we don’t have a song,
You keep playing in my head on and on and on.

I was hit with a gun wound bleeding through and through,
I was hit so hard and I went falling falling falling into you.
I used to be a poet my page never went blank,
I lost that somewhere but here it is back again it’s you I thank.
And even though we don’t have a song,
You keep playing in my head on and on and on.

I can’t lie and say I’m not scared in fact I feel dizzy and winded,
I am so exposed, so vulnerable, and feeling at all is something you’ve reminded.
It’s only been a little while and I said I was sure,
But tonight I’m feeling like I never have before.
And even though we don’t have a song,
You keep playing in my head on and on and on.

I am a 20 year old female from Western Massachusetts, and a HUGE
believer in love <3

Letter #3

Its hard to write this now, knowing that our paths are distinctively and almost certainly set apart from each other….When we first spoke you made an off-hand comment that I was too good for you, and that’s really not the case- we were too perfect for each other. I sometimes wonder what would’ve happened if we had never met and I replay those months over and over and I cant seem to see them without you. I’m not sorry for what happened, or anything we did, but I’m so incredibly sorry that was the end of our story.

I want you to know that I’m doing well, and that I think of you often. I miss the way you made me feel so safe in the most reckless of moments. Life with you was like living on the edge without the fear of falling. I don’t know if you knew it then, I like to think you did, but boy did I love you & I loved you so completely… but ever since that fall the difference between our two worlds only grew, with you over there, and me way over here. I wish I could save you. It hurts me to know that some things are bigger than me, bigger than us, I guess…

I want you to know that I hope you figure things out- I hope you figure out whatever it is that keeps holding you back and holding you down and just for once let love be bigger than it all. I picked up the pieces at the end, and I’ve kept going with my life just as I’m expected to. But there are mornings that I’ll step outside and I have this sort of hope in my heart that one day as I open the door you’ll be standing there waiting. Ill be waiting.

I’m sorry I don’t call or write, I’m afraid of what it might mean if I do. I’m stuck in this place where I know were bad news, and where we were meant to be.

My love follows you always.

Does anybody else’s heart get teary-eyed and heavy when they read this first part? I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but I know I have definitely met someone in my life who, through all the weird differences we had, seemed perfect for me. Because our paths probably will never cross again, that is essentially the end of our story, although everyday I have a little hope that it’s not.

I know where you’re coming from ‘Western Mass.’ This letter really hit home for me and made me feel a little bit sunnier in the idea that I’m not the only one who ever felt this desperately connected to someone so far away physically. I’m lucky enough to be in a place where I can touch base with my far-away-person from time to time, but we had a perfect frame of opportunity to be together I think, and maybe because I blew it and tried to act tough, I think I’ll only be able to look back fondly and hope he too can “figure things out - I hope you figure out whatever it is that keeps holding you back and holding you down and just for once let love be bigger than it all.”

To be honest, you should call this person though, and tell them how you feel and what you hope for them. Sometimes, I think a love that powerful is too strong to keep bottled up inside.

On that note, you should now go out and rent ‘ONCE.’ Make sure you read about ti on wikipedia or imdb or where ever, because the story is awesome in the film (perfect for each other, paths crossing at the wrong time) and also the story about the actors Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in real life is too cute. Whether you’re in love or out of it, a hopeless romantic or a brash single like me, this movie will have you feeling brighter about any kind of love. - Amber

Letter #2

Dear S,

With the passing days the temperature changes, the stars in the sky,
the menu at the cafeteria, but one thing never changes and that is my
love for you. Even though we are a world away, there is a voice inside
that is calling for you. The past few months have definitely been
tough, but with every passing day we are closer to being together.
Thanks for all the support, it really does mean a lot! Have a great
holiday break, and I will see you shortly...

Love, S

This letter is to a graduate student from her boyfriend in Iraq. It's truly amazing that people can endure these long-distance relationships. I can not imagine the strength it takes to maintain this kind of relationship. I've seen many deteriorate because of distance; some of them rekindled and others disintegrated. It's refreshing to see that every once in a while love can overcome distance. I used to be a silly infatuated girl and it pained me when I couldn't see the man I wanted and we lived in the same town. Here we're talking thousands of miles. The only thing connecting you are your iChat and chivalrous love letters (or maybe it's e-mails now). It's challenging and amazing. Eitherway, it puts a perspective on love, distance and heartache. -Lauren

Our First Letter

Dear Todd,
I want to thank you so much for being in my life. I am happy to have
known you 16 years, and I love to see you and touch you. We have our
ups and downs, but its your arms I would die in if I could. You
cannot know what you mean to me---you were the only one who worried or
went looking for me when I was missing; the only one who wrote me when
I was in jail. The only one who cared. I can never repay you for
your sweetness, devotion, or love. You have saved me from myself more
than you can ever know.
Casey (female, 50, Novice, TX)

This is out first letter. Thank you so much for your contribution, Casey.

Wow. This is a strong letter to kick things off with, but Lauren and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I especially like the line where Casey talks about touch. Being able to show someone physically how you love them is a really important thing about being human it seems. I don’t know if bugs or monkeys do it like humans do, and I’m not just talking about sex... Hugging for example, is a way that we comfort each other. High fives, pats on your back or holding someone’s hand - these are all ways that we make each other feel special and loved. Touch, on the other side of the coin, is a way that people can really hurt each other, i.e. sexual and yes, I am going to say it, physical abuse.
I really connected with this sentiment because after I moved out to the middle-of-nowhere Nebraska by myself, I had no one to hug, high five or pat on the back - and no one to do the same to me! The thing I looked forward to most about moving back home was when I would drive through Amherst and stop at my old house where some of my best friends in the world lived. One of them gave me a hug so hard, I couldn’t breathe. And it was one of the greatest feelings in the world. - Amber

I also agree this is a strong letter to kick off our blog. This letter holds so much emotion, you can tell this woman would be lost without her loved one. There aren't many people who can tell a good thing when it's in their arms and I think a lot of people miss this when they're feeling out relationships. I feel a strong connection to this letter. I can count how many times I've found someone amazing, but in my case I usually realize this when it's a little too late. The worst feeling in the world happens when you realize that you passed on greatness.-Lauren


Welcome to Love Letters from Strangers!

Thank you so much for visiting our blog!

Amber and I are currently putting the word out and collecting love letters. We're happy to announce that we have our first responses!

Today, love seems out of reach for a lot of people. Divorce rates have skyrocketed and no one seems to be able to stay together anymore. We are hoping that this blog will bring inspiration to those who are beginning to lose faith in love.

We hope you enjoy what we have to offer and thank you for sending us your letters. Please feel free to leave feedback on our site or e-mail us at with your question, concerns and letters. :)

Have a wonderful day,


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

About Us

Good Evening, Afternoon, Morning, Middle of the night

We are doing a personal investigation on love. For the past week Lauren has been trying to figure out Tom Robbin's age old question, how do you make love stay? Naturally this question spawned several more. What makes the perfect love? What makes the perfect lover? What does it take to stay together until you're 64? What does it take to stay together after you're 64? What about the other things in life that we love?

To be honest with you, I am at a loss and am losing all faith in love. With divorce rates up to sixty percent, it makes it hard to believe that it actually exists.

We want to hear your love stories. We are writers and journalist and are interested in putting together an anonymous collection of people's love letters. So if you have a couple minutes, do us a favor and pour your heart and soul out to the person you think is the love of your life, your soul mate or simply a person you love; but only send it to us. If you don't wish to reveal your identity, your secret is safe; but we don't want to know who you are. We want to know what you have to say.

Please write your letter like you are writing to your true love (whether or not you know who this person is yet). We look forward to reading your letters. Also please state you age, location and gender if you feel comfortable doing so. If you want to send me more info about yourself... go for it.

Thank you

love letters from strangers