The Letter People

When I’m at my best, I’m pretty adept with the manipulation and machination of words to make a point or construe a sentence. Sometimes, a mere fragment is enough. Other times, lengthy ropes of letters and intertwined nets of words are required to fully capture and convey a thought or an emotion. However many characters or symbols one needs, communication is the end result of combining some very simple symbols – such as letters – into something that means more than their individual make-up.

These photos illustrate the raw materials of writing. They are the basic building blocks of communication and connection. This is how we begin to transmit knowledge. It brings me back to grade school, when we first learned how to form letters and then used them to form words. The circle of connection has a starting point after all.

As much as I dreaded school for social reasons, I didn’t mind the learning aspect, and reading was one of my favorite activities. The best parts of any school day were when the teacher would read to us from a book (I still remember the thrill I felt when our third grade teacher read ‘James and the Giant Peach’ to the class – the way a book could transport us to another world). In later years, we were left to make our own magic during ‘silent reading’ time, and while some took the opportunity to whisper and socialize, I would always find a remote niche, hunker down behind a bookcase, and immerse myself into the letters and words that meant escape and freedom.

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