Letter from Yelena (around me)


I’m looking directly at time

in our busy time, then we all have

very little or no time at all.


*Yelena Popova, artist based in UK.

letter from Glaura (around me)

a shadow on the window
from the old house I keep all the memories
of a story that happened there and made me possible writing
writing is something essential
the very gesture that attaches me to the world
take it off and I die
as many others have said…
I keep going every single day trying to find the memory of
something that tells me where I take this strength from
maybe it is just an enormous desire to say
I love you
that’s all
I love you and nothing more

*glaura cardoso, brazil
(translation: ana carvalho and eduardo assis)

letter 29 (around me)

sometimes I go there to eat fresh fruit

I like the beauty of some plastic flowers outside

remembering me japanese gardens I could barely imagine

so tiny and delicate

from their country

only the image of a soundless wave

the breathtaking violence of nature

Letter 2+8

27 letters. What does it means? We are still so far! We are still occupied with our small daily things (the matter of our work), we are still trying to write to each other, we are still trying to look inside ourselves. But you see after 27 letters, such an arbitrary number, something has changed. We both felt the same – it is time to open the shell. We started longing for the world outside, the people outside, their feelings, their images, their words. What they might want to share or keep in silence about their ordinary life and about the world around them, around us. This very same world we’ve shared everyday. Whatever happens with us or next to us (minor thing and sometimes extraordinary things) reflects on our feelings and goes throughout us, affecting the way we face the world and express it. For now, we are still interested in woman voice. In what moves this voice, and how this voice is impressed.

As Marguerite Duras in the book Woman to Woman said: It’s a kind of feminine strength, which doesn’t explain itself, this refusal, and I think women could oppose with it. Men would always go immediately to discourse in order to explain, wouldn’t they, to make it explicit. But women could oppose it. They would feel it immediately, and I think that they would act if they had speech. Unfortunately, as things are, in 95 percent of the cases, everybody just follows along.

With hope we are in those 5 percent that remains still. We would like to expand our dialogue and invite other women to participate in it. We hope their different backgrounds, views and locations will add to our conversation. Despite of the distance and differences, we are sure we have at least few things in common: we are all women and we feel the world around us. So, we would like to know more about your feelings of the world around you.

So that, we have decided to invite 8 women we know to set a dialogue with us (don’t ask why 8 – it’s just a number, and it’s just a beginning). They are women who we know, who are from different places and backgrounds. We have asked them to send us a letter during the next 2 weeks (in any medium they want to) in response to a specific theme. Let’s see how it works. Letters from everywhere.

The first theme for dialogue is: around me.

Letter 27

Only silence remains.

Letter 26.

Achieving the horizont, you open a new one for yourself.

Letter 25

All love ends in a deep sea, at last.

(Mumbai, India, 2011)

Letter 24

Mumbai. To reach it, you have to write it.  The photography could not. (I could not)

Letter 2+2

you are going to the places where i was.

you are going to meet people who i know.

i am happy and sad

but with hope

you find something special in them as i did.



when you are back, tell me your story.

Letter 22

My dear Maria,

What to do with the canvas you once offered me? Especially me, my sweet, the one who never knows what to do in front of a white surface, a white landscape, in front of any possibility to come? Meanwhile I look at things, not the invisibles ones, but the ones we can touch, even if briefly, with our eyes and hands. All these things without value. Minor things. A piece of a handwritten paper, for an example. The sunflower next to the window. Some book passages. Or remembering the sea. Everything is so tiny. You would say that memory is not touchable. And I disagree. Have you ever tried to lay your body over a memory. It is almost unbearable, but, oh!, how to live without it? I have an inclination towards memories and things with no value. For me, they have said enough.

Letter 21

it’s hidden flow there. swim and vanish.

feel the sea everywhere.

open horizon.

Letter 20

through a grief on her face

i can see

a new canvas to paint


Letter 19

She has only one child. She calls him: my little grasshopper. He doesn’t know, but she is about to cry.

Letter 18

there are more than fifty teapots on her shelf.

she has a big family.

Letter 17

On the shelf lays a picture of her child.

Letter 16

Sometimes just a small thing makes us feel different, or helps us to feel balanced.

Letter 15

“It happened suddenly. One day I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t recognize myself.”

Letter 14

‘Mr Palomar…asks himself why he is so interested in giraffes. Perhaps because the world around him moves in an unharmonious way, and he hopes always to find some pattern in it, a constant. Perhaps because he himself feels that his own advance is impelled by uncoordinated movements of the mind, which seem to have nothing to do with one another and are increasingly difficult to fit inot any pattern of inner harmony.’ (Italo Calvino)

this photo was taken by my mum 25 years ago.

this book was published 25 years ago.

i am reading now.

and i love giraffes.

Letter 13

deep breath.


dream away.

don’t wake me up.

letter 12

in the midst of your dreams

two or three swift-flying


Letter 11

I came back from the trip.

I wanted to tell you all the stories happened with me.

It’s always strange to come back home which is not my home.

Or it is home indeed?

What is your home?

Letter 10

we are just shadow creators.

that’s all.

Letter 9

One day every single room will be taken by its arms. And from the men who once lived there will rest nothing but the dreams they whispered in the very blue night.






Letter 8

loosing her track

like water

in the sand

like music

flinging across the sea

Letter 7

“There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparision. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, ‘sketch’ is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereis the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture” (Milan Kundera)

*i like number 7 by the way

Letter 6


Letter 5

my heart.


i need a new stitch.


and bruise on the left leg.

Letter 3

touching the clouds
with the tip of feet

* i wanted to write something to you. your letter came to me first.

Letter 4

How weird is it – I thought of you and I came to write a letter for you.

But I noticed that at the same time, you came here and are writing me.




Which word starts from C is the answer?

Have you ever heard that the periods of women who share the house since some time of living together become run at the same time. This physiology is sort of magic for me. I even don’t want to know the answer on it. The same as the answer on why we both came online at the same time.

I like to play in magics.

Letter 2

I shot it yesterday.

I send it to you today.

Letter 1

It’s the dry season
The city has become
A lonely desert
As my heart
Everything burns

* the taste of the sea on my lips *