This morning on the drive in to work, in between tear-inducing news updates about the events so near to us in Boston yesterday, NPR aired a somewhat refreshing piece. Well, it was not exactly uplifting but in a way, it was. Apparently for decades, people from all over the world have been sending letters, Dear Abby-type letters, addressed to “Juliet in Verona, Italy.” Yes, to that Juliet. Shakespeare’s Juliet. Romeo’s Juliet.
But more interesting than the fact that people feel Juliet can identify with them, their loneliness and their love woes, is that there is someone in Verona opening each letter, reading it, thinking over a response, and writing back. The group comprised of 15 volunteers that answer each of these 6,000 letters a year by hand is called The Juliet Club. They’re young, old, male and female with quite a range of backgrounds. And they answer the letters in five languages. Why would someone take the time to do this every day, year after year? Perhaps one reason is simply to help. And today, remembering the fact that people are helping one another in big and small ways is nice.
And I suspect, another reason The Juliet Club does what it does may just be the romantic, tactile draw of handwriting a letter, something few and far between in this digital tidal wave.
Here’s a little glimpse of some OFS fabrics that highlight the elegance and beauty of writing that comes straight from our hands.