A New Chapter

 

“Words have weight. Something once said cannot be unsaid. Meaning is like a stone dropped into a pool; the ripples will spread and you cannot know what back they wash against.” - Philippa Gregory

Photo by @matthewgarsky

I’ve spent much of these last three years curating the words of others, now it’s time for me to find my own words and a new way. My time with Little City Love has come to an end — in the best way.

I’m stoked to announce that it will be continued (and grown!) by a wonderful team in Dayton, Ohio! After talking with them over the course of the last few weeks, I’m excited and confident in their vision for the future. They’ve got great ideas and a talented team, and I think you’re going to enjoy what’s coming.

(Please help them get off to a good start using this code for 40% off your order: anewchapter )

Before I go, there’s something I’ve been meaning to share.

Photo by @jordan.e.miller

For a long time, I’ve withheld the true reason for starting Little City Love. It just never felt natural, and too personal. In any case, finally, this is why.

Shortly before my eleventh birthday, my brother — my best friend — passed away in the night. When I woke up the next morning, he had already been taken away and I never saw him again. His life and battle with renal failure was often a torturous one, wherein every new day was a victory. When he was born, the doctors said he might live two days. When he died, he had lived every single one of 8,082.

He knew he was dying. He told me so in the car one day. After some explanation —  dialysis, needles, withered veins, pain — he asked me to do one thing.

“Please remember me.”

All these years later, despite a deep love and admiration for my brother, I have mostly failed. Excepting the car ride, I cannot remember any of our conversations and I have only veiled recollections of a few experiences.

Photo by @jordan.e.miller

We all know that flowing water, even a gentle and patient kind, will eventually erode and carry away the rocks it passes over. Time, passing over one moment to the next, does the same to memory.

At least I have photos, which are worth a thousand words, right? I don’t think so. Photos are nice but they’re shadows, they give us only the shape of a moment, you have to guess the rest. The Mona Lisa, what is she feeling? What are your friends laughing about in their latest Instagram post? What moved Vincent van Gogh to paint “The Starry Night”?

We’re just guessing all the time. I got tired of guessing.

I wanted words. I still want words.

(Aside: Van Gogh was undoubtedly a great painter, but his letters are his greatest works).

Photo by @lauralucy_f

Photo by @lauralucy_f

Ultimately, I wish I had words written to me from my brother, or even my own words written from me to him in that time, because they wouldn’t fade and because I wouldn’t have to guess for once — I’d be able to hear him in his own words over and over and over. I could remember.

I started Little City Love, with a good friend who deserves so much credit, because I had to. It felt necessary, even if it was only for myself, to encourage the exchange of intimate words and authentic dialogue. Maybe it was penance, maybe it was hope. In any case, it was definitely fun.

I'm filled with gratitude that Little City Love will continue on, and with 100,000+ cards sent to over 40 countries around the world, we're all off to wonderful start but we still have many more words to write.

I'll conclude with this: Love as a word is four letters; love as an act can be any of the letters in any arrangement, so long as it comes from the heart. So think of those you love and write them a letter — it’ll last longer.

High fives + good vibes,

Clayton Fuller