20 January 2010:


Something happened yesterday that made me stop in my tracks.  I went down to the mailbox to see if the postman had been.  Yes, there were a clutch of letters and I opened the bills and sundry invites in a desultory fashion, pausing every few paces to stoop and pick a weed or dead-head a rosebush.  I noticed a small white envelope.  On it was handwritten in black marker-pen ‘Fix the heart with a work of art’.  I opened it, expecting some sort of junk mail advertising.  A small copy of a photograph fell out, it looks like a picture of some spectacular cosmic activity; maybe a shooting star.  But it’s a beautiful photograph.  I looked inside the envelope and saw there was a letter, which I read.


This is what it said:

To the Recipient

Inside this envelope you will find a work of art.

Hopefully it will be as beautiful to you as it was to me when I put it in here.

It might not be conventional art, it might be poetry or prose or abstract or modern art, or anime graphics or webcomic panels.

It might even be song lyrics.

I chose it because it is one of the most beautiful things I know and I want to send it out to the world to be seen.

I don’t know you, and probably will never meet you, but people we know send us messages all the time, reporters in newspapers who tell us about the crime problem, advertisers who promise us perfect lives and looks, people in shopping malls who stare disapprovingly at what we’re wearing.

I have a message for you too, but it’s much simpler than any of these.  My message to you is:


Inside this envelope is one of them.

Holding this envelope is another.

That’s the message and here’s how to spread it:


First take out the artwork I have sent you.

Next, find a piece of art, maybe a favourite quote or movie still or drawing; a photo or even real object like a feather or pretty stone or leaf, anything that you feel is so amazing and beautiful that you would like to share it with someone.

Seal it in this envelope, along with these instructions (or a copy of them).

Give this envelope to someone.  You can do it directly by dropping it into their hand, or maybe into a shopping trolley, or into a random letter box or under their windscreen wipers in a parking lot.  Anything goes.


Anyone at all, but NOT someone you have met before or spoken to.

In this world strangers have more power over us often than those we’re closest to.

Please feel free to copy and print this.  I’m going to do it because, just for a moment, I felt that this sort of feelgood nonsense actually could work.




39 Comments Add yours

    1. theonlycin says:

      Me too, this particular bush is my pride and joy.

  1. Madmom says:

    I’m going to do it too! It would be a great way to negate the hate on the blogs as well.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Seems like this one may be the war to end all wars, I’m glad I’m no longer there.

  2. What a beautiful beautiful rose. Perfect. Thank you for giving my Monday such a special start – lovely idea xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy your week Sunshine 😀

  3. lovely idea, it came around some time ago, maybe i need to do it again

    1. theonlycin says:

      I forgot all about it, then found an envelope I’d prepared in my car, so decided to start doing it again.

  4. Pseu says:

    Nice idea!

    (Hey another baton blog… I did one on shooting stars this morning, but I promise I hadn’t seen yours first.)

    1. theonlycin says:

      I saw yours first 🙂

  5. What a great gift and what a super idea. Thanks for sharing it, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcome Amy 🙂

  6. granny1947 says:

    Hi There Cindy….what a lovely idea…think I might just give it a go.
    Have a super day love.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too Hon, I’m relieved it’s almopst over.

  7. Artswebshow says:

    It’s a novel idea.
    Maybe it does work.
    Depends how you felt when you read the letter is suppose.
    I like this picture.
    Theres something so strong and regal in the imagery of a rose

    1. theonlycin says:

      I felt … uplifted 😀

  8. Definitely “news I can use!” Consider it done!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Glad it is spreading around the world 😀 ❤

  9. suzicate says:

    Now that is an amazing way to pass it forward! Thanks for sharing this…reading it has brightened my day!

  10. slpmartin says:

    How very lovely…and I do so appreciate the concept of the message.

  11. nrhatch says:

    Lovely idea to spread joy and beauty (rather than doom and gloom).

    Thanks, Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re very welcome, Nancy!

  12. halfp1nt says:

    Thanks for sharing, Cindy. I’m going to give it a bash.

  13. Jenna says:

    What a wonderful surprise to find in your mailbox! The rose is beautiful-and the idea is beautiful too.

  14. Yvette says:

    What a beautiful free peaceful gift to give to someone…it would have made my day to find a envelope like that and you’ve calmed my night by sharing it thankyou xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for reading, Yvette 🙂

  15. Of course it will work! Sometimes artlessness and open-heartedness is a choice. And a brave one at that.

    Absolutely brilliant post, Cindy. Thank you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      My pleasure, Kate 😀

  16. gospelwriter says:

    I do like the idea – it’s another way of smiling at complete strangers, I think… and yes, what a beautiful rose.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, it is a smile, I like that!

  17. Lovely idea. Lovely rose. Thanks, Cindy.

    Responded on “first water” in my comment on Musing. Thanks!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Gotcha, thanks back at you 🙂

  18. Teri says:

    I am so sappy, I love this. Absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Glad you liked it 🙂

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