writing a few reminders

on a store catalog I intend to bring with me today — will see if I can get out of the house — a letter of my childhood springs up. It must exist. Somewhere. Besides my memory. But if only there, I am grateful, since its memory tags along with another — probably the only advice I recall from my grandmother Carmen.

and I did not follow it

We moved to the states in batches. Shipped to my grandparent’s house. One of my brothers and I came first, we were eleven and twelve. Our father came last — but he wrote me a letter. He wrote it on black paper and sent it in a black envelope. See, I just wrote on a black background in a catalog

with a silver pen i happened to have

on the kitchen counter among a trove of colored pens. My father was an architect at heart, among many other things, and his handwriting, which I had never seen until that letter, was neat in every sense of the word. ALL CAPS. Very angular, his As, Ms, and Ws astounded me.

every now + then, i take to writing them that way

I always have had, besides for writing instruments and paper, a love for aesthetics. And color. And symmetry. Even as a child. I also loved that letter because he made drawings of our younger sister and brother, who were to come next, and because

  1. he sent it to me
  2. it was sent by a Dad who, to me, was MIA a lot
  3. it was beautiful
my grandmother, his mom, stood beside me

looking at the letter and said: “Treasure this, it is very special.” Then sighed.