This image features a stock image vintage illustration of a twinned work basket weave.

Letters To What We Want is a series of letters composed by friends, responding to the question ‘What do you want? In 2021 and beyond?’. The format was left open, as was the choice to sign off anonymously or with a pseudonym.

In exchange, I sent them an artwork, which can be viewed at the end of the post.

I keep an altar in the home I’ve been living in for 3 years now. I had set it up with my dear friend Liy, who lived in this home too, for a time. We would come together during new moons, full moons, shifts in astrological phases and “reset” the altar with new items, old items, textures and elements that felt right for whatever we perceived our present to be, for whatever we hoped for the future.

I knew I wanted to set my altar with manifestations of my intentions as we left 2020 and moved into 2021. I wanted to do something that wasn’t writing words. And I knew that I wanted to build a house with a broken heart in it. That was my 2020 after all — this house, everyone in it that left, me still here, my heart determinedly beating through what has felt unbearable.

So I built walls and a roof, to symbolise the new home I wanted to make, to signify shelter and greenhouse for my wild, unrelenting hope. I thought about what I want to keep doing as we move forward, what has saved me this year, and I wrote those words on the walls: Make. Connect. Heal. To make, I made a bevy of tools to write with, to cook with, to garden with, to sew with. To connect, I thought about intimacy, about all the different types of love and touch and connection I desire in my life. I gathered works from three artists (Roza Nozari, Guanyin Ma @ SLUT, and Manimanjari Sengupta) and weaved them into a pillar. To heal, I made a 3D heart out of paper, imagining the final kintsugi effect of covering it in glitter cracks but it was in the process of cutting and gluing it together and closing up the seams that felt like the real repair. On the outside of the walls I stuck paper coins of seeds for better worlds and just futures by Chiara Frances LAc.

As 2020 comes to a close, I pray and dream with my body and hands. Whenever I have the opportunity, I try and bring whatever I can from the chambers of my heart into being. Every cut of paper, every dab of glue, every wash of colour, every slide of graphite: a seed. May everything you plant for 2021 grow. May we all get to savor the fruit.

– Syar S Alia

Image of Country Musik: Movements #9, given in exchange for this letter.
An edition of this work is available in the shop.