I find it amusing that the book Letters of Note exists. At its simplest form, what is a letter but a form of communication, and a private one at that? It seems that once a person is blown into fame, their privacy becomes a valuable type of insight for understanding his/her work and life. Understandable, but amusing. (Fame is insatiable).

There is a nice stack of letters (around 3 inches deep) residing in my room at the moment. Holding those letters in my hands is a strange experience: they mean nothing, and they mean everything. I can unfold those letters and listen to a voice thousands of miles away. I can also unfold those letters and toss them into the bin or shred them. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I fiddled with all of this power—not power in strength, but in intensity. Would I be insane, or curious, or sociopathic, or just plain dumb?

And that brings me back to Letters of Note. It’s astonishing to see what a written note can do. It can tear a person apart and heal a deeply cut wound in the same breath. It can give a kill order. It can give redemption. It can toy with a heart, feed it, destroy it, anything, really. A letter can be a worthless slip of paper or a priceless artifact. There’s something terrifyingly beautiful about that.


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