“ALLforPDA” Wants Your Love Letters
We are living in an era where we have witnessed the birth of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where you can keep in touch with old friends or even make new ones. However, from all those hundreds of friends or followers, how many of those have you called on the phone and had a decent conversation with recently? How many of them have you personally written a letter to or at least a birthday card within the past year? I am almost positive the number of people who responded “yes” to the first proposed question has significantly dropped for the second.
The reasoning behind it is clear; it’s often easier and quicker to send a text message instead of a phone call, and an email versus a handwritten letter. In this time and age, it is easy to forget about the simpler things in life. We praise gadgets that are often glued to the palms of our hands, from iPhones to iPads, to cameras and laptops, and in doing so, many believe these tools are actually “simplifying” our lives.
However, as a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, I must admit that my heart still skips a beat the moment I hear my cell ring and see a special somebody’s name flash on the screen, and needless to say I jump for joy the moment I get a postcard or a letter. To me, these indeed are the simpler things in life, yet very few continue to be a part of this almost extinct movement. So the moment I heard about a project called “Anonymous Letters of Love FOR Public Display of Art,” also known as “ALLforPDA,” my inner Juliet immediately wanted to know more.
What is “ALLforPDA”?
“ALLforPDA” is a wake-up call for all romantics, a means to bring the lost art of writing love letters back to life. This art project was put together by a fellow Orange County resident, Jacqueline Bustamante, after getting inspired by an artistic exercise in 2012.
She explains that she was touched by a particular scene in a play where a character dies before he is able to give his beloved a love letter that he carried in his wallet.
Bustamante, who is also an actress, further explains this experience by stating, “The thought of his unspoken words dying on paper along with his body really affected me. I kept thinking about the mail recipient, who would never know about this letter. Then I started thinking about my own personal love letters that have also died in my heart because I’ve been too afraid to give them away, too afraid to be vulnerable, too afraid to be seen by my mail recipients.”
And that was how the idea of “ALLforPDA” came alive about a year ago. The letters came in last November, some were “funny, sad, angry and hopeful,” and Bustamante couldn’t help but to feel connected with every one of them on some level.
“The intention for this project is to connect with others by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. I believe writing letters are healing to human spirit, especially when you want to let go or embrace something/someone,” said Bustamante, “By remaining anonymous writers, we are safe to express anything we want, but in order for connection to happen we must be willing to be seen (have someone read our letter).”
Considering the success of last year’s event, “ALLforPDA” is back at it this year encouraging the public to release their emotions on paper.
The concept is simple, write a letter of love (in English or Spanish) to someone, anyone, sign it “anonymous” and send it to P.O. Box 28071, Santa Ana, CA 92799, no later than August 21, 2013. Keep in mind the letter must be an original, unpublished piece of work, and the author must be willing to have the letter displayed, recited/performed out loud in front of an audience, and possibly published.
But fear not my love birds; no one will know you wrote it, so let your heart write away, freely.
So dust off that notebook, shake that pen, and get that hand in motion, but if your writing is too sloppy, a typed letter will suffice.
Remember, even Napoleon had a soft side. So don’t wait a lifetime, skip the emails, stop limiting yourself to 140-character tweets, and put it in writing, and if you can, watch it come to life on stage on August 30 at 8:30 p.m., at the Inner-City Arts/The Rosenthal Theater in Los Angeles, followed by several other performances by independent artists.