“If you can read this, then it’s yours! Enjoy!”
I’m standing in the bathroom at Weight Watchers with Leah. A brown envelope sitting on top of the tampon machine catches my attention.
There’s a hashtag on it: #moreloveletters as well as a website: moreloveletters.com. Inside is a card with an owl and the words “yooo-hoo!” And inside that are these words:
“Dear Amazing Person,
You are the lovely recipient of a card from moi! A total complete stranger! Not the creepy kind, more like a loving kind to tell you how awesome you are! Every day as you grow you become more and more amazing! Don’t ever doubt yourself! You rock! Keep smiling! Share joy with others! Lots of hugs, Sunshine”
A wave of joy and gratitude washes over my body. It is an auspicious beginning to my Artist Date – number 84 – which in my mind doesn’t begin until this evening. I have treated myself to a front row ticket for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. I wasn’t familiar with it, but I liked the sound of it. And already, the magic of the Artist Date – the magic of being filled up – has begun.
I am reminded of my spiritual business teacher Anne Sagendorph Moon, who taught me that money begets money. That I am able to receive only by giving. And to tithe the sources of my inspiration.
I recall another of Anne’s students getting two, crisp, $100 bills from the bank, dropping them in the hands of two complete strangers and running away, grinning.
This note in my hand feels like a $100 bill. My life feels magical and full of possibilities. I want to deliver my own little brown-wrapped notecards of love into the world.
And for the rest of the day, I do. Energetically giving and receiving loveletters until I can pen my own and join this crazy, mad, lovely movement. Hoping that love begets love.
I text the chef – a man I’ve just begun dating. I recall it is a day of great transition for him and I wish him well. I do not ask him any questions, nothing that requires action or a response on his part. I receive one anyway. “Was thinking of you…Funny.”
I call out a message of encouragement to the woman in the dressing room next to mine at Intimacy – a upscale lingerie shop. An invitation to treat herself. She has just let out a squeal of joy. That “aha-you’ve-changed-my-life-with-the-right-size-bra-and-thank-you-for-showing-me-how-to-wear-it-properly” cry of relief. I know it. I’ve had it here. More than once.
She laments, “Now I have to make choices. I’ve never had choices.”
“Buy them all,” I yell through the walls. Laughter. Hers. The salesperson’s. My own. A host of other women behind closed doors. “Seriously. Do it.”
I don’t know what she does, but I leave smiling with a bag full of lacy bits. Bras and panties. Silky. Filmy. Embroidered. Embellished. The price tags make me giggle. $40. $65. $110. Ridiculous. Each rings up at 70 percent off. A sexy little loveletter to myself.
I call a friend and hold her heart. I eat dinner and go to the show where I receive the sweat, the lifeblood, of the dancers – literally. Bits of salty water catching light, cast into space. The clickety-clap tapping of the feet of teenage girls allows me to imagine a different trajectory. Sliding doors.
I am recognized as a dancer in my own right by the woman in the seat next to me. She dances the beginning level West African class at the Old Town School of Music and sees me coming in for the intermediate one.
She sees me. She has seen me. She wants to know how long it has taken to arrive where I am. I tell her I have no idea.
On the way out, I trade a big, wide grin with the handsome sound engineer. His smile back reflects my own.
I do not give him my card or try to engage him in conversation. I allow this simple exchange of heart to stand on its own, as if to say “Namaste — I see the God on you.” A final loveletter of the night.