InCoWriMo 2021, International Correspondence Writing Month, has gone by in a flash. It’s February every year, and you’re supposed to write a letter each day, or if not a letter, maybe a greeting card or a postcard. In years past, we did a little more celebrating, maybe ran a pen pal match up if I recall correctly, but this year, things have just swept along and here I am in March.


If you need some feel good inspiration, Canada Post is sending a prepaid postcard to every household, which you can send to someone who needs a bit of cheering up. I love this initiative, although I might be biased because I’m so grateful for Canada Post and as a bonus, I also really appreciate the thoughtfulness and hard work and good humour of the CP people we have the good fortune to deal with.


If you’re just sort of floating along, a stack of letters to get back to, know you’ve got company. I’ve expanded outside of a folder into a small bin into which I’m trying gallantly to contain all the correspondence I intend to respond to eventually. On the one hand, things seem to be sweeping past me and I mean to tell one penpal one thing I had in mind, but by the time I sit down to write, it’s already obsolete or no longer relevant or has radically changed. On the other hand, I’m learning to just have the moment for what it is, and I write about the tiny things that make up life. I’ve run out of chocolate and so I need to get more; what fun I will have agonizing over flavours. Naomi and I have begun making pizza dough together on the weekends to rise in the fridge for Friday nights, and the sight of Naomi covered in flour, little floured footprints on the floor, containers of olive oiled balls of dough in the fridge, slowly puffing up through the week, all a delight. I got a new pair of very sharp scissors, and sometimes when I’m thinking extra hard, I open and close them slowly in the air, imagining all the things they could cut through. I am either sharpening my focus, or moving calmly towards the edge.


But recently, these days, with longer days of sunshine, with an audiobook in my headphones as I hang the laundry, with a stack of books on my bedside table waiting for me each evening, I’m feeling the thrum of spring, and my favourite stationery is out on my desk again. I’m on a bit of a roll, and I’m enjoying the satisfaction of the final seal of the envelope and the stamp and perhaps a sticker here or there just for the joy of it. My favourite ones are the Santa ones, but I’m trying to hinge myself back into reality, so mostly I use seasonally appropriate ones. Cats, actually, mostly, who are seasonally appropriate year round.






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March 12, 2021 — Liz Chan

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