So if you’ve been to a large gathering or event in Surrey, British Columbia, Vancouver, New West, or other local areas, then you’ve seen my handmade love letters. The original artwork for the front of the letters can be found here. Another artist did something beautiful with that image and turned it into a more cartoon version that looks like this.
Each letter comes on a piece of paper the size of a postcard with LMBG branding on the front, and a handwritten letter on the back. Over the last six years, I’ve written more than a thousand of them, and I love doing them, with all my heart, but they don’t come without a traumatic history.
I promised myself – and my rapists – that if I got out of that dark black disgusting room safely I would tell everyone what happened to me. I did that using the website, but then came the question of how to promote the website.
When you’re stoned, you tend to be more creative, more curiously artistic than when you are sober. So I started writing down all the things that I wish someone had said to me when I was growing up.
I write these letters today for a very different reason than when I started. When I started I wanted to say thank you to the universe for letting me live. It’s as awful as it sounds. But when I started it was because many of the people going to these outdoor events are living in marginalized communities or situations, and I wanted them to know that I hear them, that I hear their pain because I feel similar pains.
I wanted to tell stories through these letters, one letter said simply “smoke a joint,” I will never forget the smile on the face of the person I gave it to. “You know me,” they said. I was happy. Genuinely happy, people were smiling, and that was the original intent – regardless of how they started, if someone was smiling when they got a letter, I was happy.
One of the letters was written from the perspective of a former gangster I once heard about, the story that I heard was that he was writing a love letter just as his home was being raided. I don’t know who the letter was to, or who even wrote it, or even if the story is true, but I wrote a letter based on what I thought a man might say in that situation.
Each of the letters came with stickers and were rolled up originally in the shape of a cone, I wanted to make them pretty and exciting, but over time that became both expensive and time-consuming, which is why we have the letters as we do now.
Mental Health Projects Like Letter Writing or Other Creative Endeavours can Save A Patient’s Life
In years of our ancient ones, we would recommend spiritual pursuits when it came to issues like depression. Prayer, meditation, and spending time outdoors, are all trusted and true methods when it comes to dealing with mental health issues, but unfortunately spending time outside alone, isn’t going to solve the problems.
So we use medication, and that helps too, but a great deal of what we’re dealing with when it comes to our mental health is too much time on our hands. I spend as much time writing as I can, focusing on tracking how I’m feeling and what I’ve learned helps me to stop thinking about the bad stuff, the dark stuff that holds me back from building a brand based on mental health.
This entire blog has been referred to as my trauma project, and it’s absolutely that and more. A future company and a foundation for the dreams and hopes that I’ve spent a lifetime thinking were never going to come true.
Creative pursuits help us to speak in a language other than the ones that we are conditioned by our communities and society to use.
Creative pursuits, whether it’s dancing, songwriting, singing, painting, drawing, or even tattooing someone’s skin, allow us to say all the things that we’re either afraid or completely incapable of saying in our formal tongue.
The Love Letters As A Trauma Project
I’ve delivered bags of letters to The Surrey Women’s Center and handed them out in droves at festivals. Part of the great thing about the letters is that it gives me the opportunity to connect with other humans, to explain that I’m living a life filled with trauma while finding positive ways to heal from that trauma. It allows me to tell them about my book, Uncomfortable, and it gives me the opportunity to show people that life after trauma, while still in extreme poverty, isn’t as impossible as it may seem.
For me, writing these letters gives me an opportunity to think about all the wonderful, beautiful things about the world, and allows me to put that on a piece of paper to be shared, if there’s anything that I would say is the “most” beautiful thing, it’s the gift of doing something because you GENUINELY believe it might help someone.
The Result of The Letters Was Hoped for But Unexpected
I got an email on the 28th of June, telling me that the person who received one of my letters in New West several years ago, (about 15 minutes from Surrey,) remembered me and that they had been excited to see me at Surrey Pride this year.
They talked about how the letters lifted them up and made them feel good and mentioned that they no longer had the original letter, but they still remembered them, and that to me, was the most beautiful thing.
I don’t need hundreds of people to tell me that they love the letters, (although that would be SO friggen cool,) but to hear that even 1 family was affected, or moved emotionally by my letters means that the time I spent writing them wasn’t a waste, and honestly, while I was doing the letters, it really felt like it.
I Do Not Write The Letters Alone
The letters are almost always and exclusively written while I either am high or have smoked cannabis. That’s a requirement of the letter-writing process because when I am stoned I feel closer to my spiritual annoyances, and reminders.
I spend time thinking about what I’d want someone from my past, present, or future, to say to me, and that’s what I write down. I don’t think that wanting to hear these things is selfish, especially because I don’t often keep letters for myself, they’re meant to be given, to help inspire, push, challenge, and make people feel loved. They are designed to be messages from people from all over the universe, who have heard cool things or needed to hear cool things.
So what I’m saying is that when I am stoned I feel more connected to the other humans on this planet, and whatever I think someone ELSE might want to hear, goes into the letters.
After Five Years It’s Time to Write More Letters, But I’m Going To Need Help
I won’t ask you to write letters with LMBG branding, but I will ask you to write a letter, by hand, even just one, and give it to someone you think might need to smile, or to be reminded that they deserve to be here.
Write a letter to your favourite celebrity, or neighbour, write a letter to your teacher, doctor, mother, father, or parent, and write a letter to yourself. Put it in a drawer or post it somewhere you will always see it, but take the time, to write a letter and spend as much time decorating it as possible.
WHO you are writing to doesn’t really matter, because it’s not about who the letter is going to, but about what it is you want to say, that you’ve never felt safe saying before.
As long as the letter is sent with love, as long as the words or artwork you use is respectful and kind, and as long as your intention is to send your letter into the universe never expecting or needing to get a response, then the majick will do the rest.
History of Love Letters
History. One of the oldest references to a love letter dates to Indian mythology of more than 5000 years ago. Mentioned in the Bhagavatha Purana, book 10, chapter 52, it is addressed by princess Rukmini to King Krishna and carried to him by her Brahmin messenger Sunanda.Wikipedia.org
I love knowing that I am helping to continue a tradition that is more than five thousand years old, it makes me part of a long legacy of writers, who have deliberately crafted a work of art with love, to be sent into the world never knowing if I’ll get a response.
If you’ve received a love letter I can promise you I probably don’t know what it said, but whatever it said I hope it’s what you needed, and wanted to hear.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall