Anais Nin
Anais Nin

I came across this article from Messy Nessy Chic on the red-hot correspondence between authors Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin. Love letters are a specific art form. They require an architect's mind, a poet's curation of language, and an evangelist's fervor.

I don't care if you're single and you have had your eye on that girl in the library for months, or you've been married for 45 years. Everyone is going to feel at some point or another, unrequited love.

To declare your passion, your devotion, your admiration in detail on paper is always a challenging and invigorating exercise. Even if you don't send it--but you SHOULD, because receiving a handwritten or typed letter is just as special as the words themselves--taking the time to concentrate on the loveable qualities of your one and only will revive your own energy for the written word but more importantly, you'll refocus on that one person who once rocked you to your core and made you come alive.

Henry Miller
Henry Miller

If you haven't read Henry & June or  A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller 1932-1953, I highly recommend both.

The pair met in 1932 and, after forming a literary friendship, carried on a passionate love affair (and at one point, a love triangle) for decades.

What is it about love letters?

Over the years, I've carefully tucked away select correspondence from lovers and suitors in between the pages of my favorite books (the ones I don't lend to friends, obviously). These are books I know I will revisit and when I do, I will also be able to remember a wonderfully passionate time from my life. Whether the relationship ended amicably does not matter in that moment...what carries weight are the words someone dared to write. I say "dared" because it takes a certain level of courage to put those kinds of feelings and desires on paper, risking anyone seeing them. Emails, text messages, Snapchats, whathaveyou--all can be deleted, erased within seconds. But letters--aside from burning them--stay.

A love letter is not only arousing in the corporeal sense, but by maintaining a physical distance between two people, it can stoke the possibilities of how they will communicate when they are together next. Perhaps they will repeat what they were finally able to write out in ink, perhaps the lovers will not speak at all, for they no longer need words.

I'm not the best speaker, I write letters of all kinds to say what I cannot easily express in the moment. If you have the same trouble, especially in your relationship, writing a love letter can give your lover the security and emotional fulfillment they need, and deepen the bond between you. Even the erotic can take on a new, layered significance.

photo(2)
photo(2)

All images here from Fire: From A JOURNAL OF LOVE, The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1934-1937 (Harcourt Brace 1987).

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