Over the summer, a wonderful poet called Linda France did a call out entitled ‘Yours Sincerely: The Climate Letters.’ This was an invitation to use our pens and imaginations and continue the powerful work that words can bring to the ongoing ecological crisis. People were encouraged to write a letter – to anyone they like – expressing their thoughts and ideas on this crucial subject, on their relationship with the Earth, on their hopes for the future.
I was away in Kenya at the time but decided to make this my one writing project of the summer and was delighted when Linda chose my letter to be featured in an art installation (with Gemma Koomen’s beautiful artwork) as part of Durham Book Festival. I studied at Durham and haven’t managed to get back there since 1999! So this was a perfect excuse to hop on a train up to Durham, take a trip down memory lane, see the art installation and read some of the incredible offerings and also, the icing on the cake for me, take part in a climate writing workshop with Linda France.
And here is my letter. I remember sitting with this for some time wondering, who do I write to? A future descendant? An apology to a First Nation member? The last of a remaining species? In many ways, the choice I made felt unfair and flawed, yet it was for this reason that I wanted to experiment with this choice, to also acknowledge my own culpability.
How about you? If you were to write a letter to somebody, who would it be?