Here’s the first installment of questions from PennsValleyFamily.com’s interview with once-local author Amy Andrews about her recently published book Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters.
What was your original intent in writing letters to Jess? How did it shift and change over time?
We began writing letters in 2005 as a spiritual discipline. We wrote a letter-a-day for the forty days of Lent hoping to make the road to Easter more intentional. Even though it was hard we were both thrilled by the adventure of it. We set out together, as St. Teresa says, to “discover our souls and from what country we came.” But we had no idea that we would come to depend on our letters so much, that eventually they would become our only way of talking when grief threatened to shut our friendship down.
In the book, your letters span a 3-year period (and I understand you continue to write to one another even today). What are some of the benefits of letter-writing over such a long time?
When you carry on such a prolonged conversation with someone, you have the chance to really get somewhere in your thinking. We found ourselves returning again and again over the years to the same questions, the same problems, the same doubts. But through writing, we could see our reactions and provisional answers to those questions evolve and deepen.
And, even more importantly, our correspondence slowly revealed the presence of God to us – not in the distance, at the end of the road as we had imagined when we set out – but right there with us in the back and forth of our letters.
If you don’t mind me asking, what are your thoughts going into Lent 2013?
Well, Jess and I are once again committing to a letter-a-day. It has been hard over the past few years, with small children around all the time, but we yearn for our letters when we aren’t writing. Aelred of Rivaulx once said, that God abides in friendship. For us, this abiding presence becomes most clear when we are writing to each other.
Thank you, Amy, for these first thoughts about Love & Salt.
Be sure to look for Part 2 next Tuesday when we’ll continue our interview with Amy Andrews. In the meantime, begin reading Love & Salt today.
Enjoy your home,