All you need is love (a project in living out loud)

Let's play a game. I'm going to give you all a writing assignment. You have the next few weeks to work on it and then we can all compare. I'll list all your entries as links along with my own entry and I'll pick one to be the "winner". I'll even come up with a real prize! The theme for this first Living Out Loud Project is an Open Love Letter. All the Christmas goodies have been packed away and the stores are full of teddy bears, other more salacious teddies, jewelry and commercialized crap. How often do we take the time to write a letter (electronic or otherwise) to someone who has touched our lives?

The first year my parents were married, Daddy was in Vietnam. They wrote letters to each other every single day. My mother mailed Smithfield ham in wax paper to Vietnam along with even just a few lines to tell him she loved him. My father carried his most precious items, including those letters, in a Tupperware container to keep the red Vietnamese clay from getting into everything. Those letters are the only way they communicated for an entire year.

But when he came back stateside, they were back in the day to day of raising my oldest brother and adding two more kids to the mix. I'm not sure my parents wrote another letter to each other after that.

Love letters almost by their very definition are private matters. There's a cedar chest full of those letters between my parents but I'm not sure I'll ever read them while Mom and Dad are both still alive. I'm not sure I'd want to. Is it possible to express all the same intensity of love for someone - a spouse, a lover, a child, a parent - and still keep it in a format we would feel comfortable sharing with the world? Let's find out!

Write your open love letter and share it with us. The letter doesn't have to be to your current true love, but it does have to be from you. You can revise as many times as you'd like before the deadline of February 1st. If you don't have a blog or web site to publish your submission, feel free to email it directly to me. Any email entries I receive, I will publish (with credit to you) on my site so everyone can read them.

Once you have written your letter, link to it in the comments section of this entry (or leave a note that you emailed it to me). Remember that if you are using LiveJournal and normally lock your entries, please make this one entry public.

I hope you'll participate with me. I think it will be fun to see how each of us expresses our love for someone who may or may not have ever heard the words directly and in a format that others get to see. Open your hearts and practice living out loud with me for a bit.