Since I was a young, my mom would show me pictures and things from not just my past, but also her past. She would show me old letters and photos, etc. I may not be good at history, but I loved it nonetheless. There is power that comes with the past, and sometimes an extreme heaviness.
When we look into the past, we are told with facts. Especially in history in classes. I never learn the deeper aspects to those truths, like what about the families? The sacrifices made? How was life back then? How did this person cope with this certain issue? What about the person’s truth? In the end, I want to know more than what’s told to us. It might just me a “me thing”, but I have always loved learning about individual people. Whether or not they’re in person right at that moment or from 300 years in the past, it’s always so intriguing to me. It might be just because I’m a psychology nerd.
This assignment was finding a letter, memo, postcard, etc from the past and writing the backstory to it. I decided to look for letters from the 80’s, since it is the theme of this semester. This did take awhile to do. Since people wrote letters to the 80’s, so it made looking for letters from that time that much more difficult. I found a couple different letters, but none stuck with me as much as the ones I found below. As soon as I found that one, I felt I could write a story about this.
I know this is a true story, but obviously I don’t know the couple’s experience with each other. I was going to spin a crazy long story about the couple writing the notes to each other when they were just friends, but I decided against that. I felt that something shorter like a haiku would give their relationship that much more depth than a novella. Though, this took awhile. My horrible English made it difficult to find replacements for simple words.
But without further ado, I hope you appreciate my limited creativity trying to work it’s hardest 🙂
Description: “Find an old archive: letter, postcard, photograph, memo, computer document, e-mail. Then, form a story surrounding the piece. Develop a general, basic narrative or back story and characters. It doesn’t have to be super long; it can be a haiku or a novella–your choice. Let the past inspire you!
My example is a postcard from World War I. It was discovered unsent and from an unknown author, and attached to the postcard was a small poppy, addressed to the soldier’s love. I wrote a poem in Spanish about the postcard, and you can read the poem and its translation at this link:
To my dearest George,
I pour my heart out to you
with every pen stroke.
I’m so blessed to say
That you are my closest friend.
There’s no one like you.
But what we knew not-
That these feelings would grow intense,
Soon, we’d be in love.
With that being said,
Just know I won’t leave you.
I’ll be here always.