I met my bosom buddy Heidi at a retreat in Los Angeles the week of October 12, 2012. She has flawless style, red hair and walks like a gazelle. I’ll never forget the moment when I told her I loved her boots and we struck up a conversation. Such a good decision it was to deliver that compliment. In the words of Alec Baldwin (another thing Heidi and I share a love for) “I was a fan. I still am. That never goes away.”
As fate would have it 6 months later, we randomly ended up roommates during another retreat, this time in Ojai, CA and our friendship was cast in stone. We shared our secrets and our fears and giggled to each other late into the nights. It was during this time that I learned Heidi is an artist, a lover of poetry and writes in the most beautiful hand.
It was after we returned home from that trip that Heidi sent me a poem in the mail. No letter, or note, just a poem. It was stunning. I was left to my own devices to interpret the poem, what she meant by sending it, what was going on in her life that made her connect to it. And thus we became poetry pen pals and another layer of our friendship formed.
There have been times when the poems have been accompanied by a bar of rosemary infused milk chocolate or a bag of homemade granola. I love all those little extras but I rush to read and understand the poems. One poem came in the form of a postcard. It was a poem I had heard before by a great Caribbean writer, Derek Walcott. The poem written in Heidi’s gorgeous, architect style penmanship touched me so deeply that I immediately framed it and put it by my bedside.
Heidi and I often have long phone conversations and interestingly enough we don’t speak about the poems. It’s almost as if they exist in another world that exists between us, that makes us understand one another better and appreciate one another more and it never has to be spoken about. There is no set meter for this exchange of poems. We send them when we find ones that resonate and then they arrive like a surprise.
So if you are ever at a loss for what to say in a letter – don’t hesitate to send someone your favorite poem. The person my never have never been blessed with the beautiful verses and it may spark a new tradition that enriches both of your lives.