This image features a stock image vintage illustration of a swimming swan.
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.
23rd December 2020
With much hope:
Dear all the trips I’ll take in 2021,
I won’t discriminate—short, long, near, far—I’m speaking to you all. How many of you will there be? I don’t know, cannot say, am unable to divine, shall not speculate upon. But I hope there will be many of you, even if they are wholly in my mind.
I’d like to make the weekly trip to campus and sit in a room with my coursemates and lecturers. Let that come to pass.
I’d like to make the more infrequent but just as valuable jaunts to museums, galleries, libraries, archives, collections. First they have to be open and that means case counts have to drop. Let that come to pass.
I’d like to wander into alleyways and antiquarian shops and second-hand booksellers without worrying if I’m about to breathe in a viral load and regret my decision. Let that come to pass.
Theatres and music halls, pubs with friends, train cars and buses, comic conventions and art fairs, spur-of-the-moment trips to a lonely windswept moor or mountain or forest. And even just a trip to a friend’s house. Let all of that come to pass.
I suppose what I’m really asking for is the freedom I’d taken for granted to move about, unhindered, on my own schedule, as I wish. And if I do get some of that back, which means you would happen, what will you teach me then? And if I don’t get to make very many of you, how will I carry on nonetheless and not let possibilities pass me by?
I await you.
P.S. I’d like to think of myself as a careful, cautious person and perhaps that is what’s keeping me from getting more of you. Deal with it then!
Image of Country Musik: Movements #16, given in exchange for this letter.
An edition of this work is available in the shop.