In February I ran into Maira Kalman first thing in the morning on my way into work. It was magical. At my mom's urging I wrote her a note, and I want to share it with you.
I ran into you recently one morning at the elevator at 611 Broadway. I was on my way to work and recognized you and your orange hat. You were very sweet and shook my hand. I called off the Annual February Misery Day Parade for the day and immediately called my mom to tell her about it.
I couldn't resist writing you a note because your work resonates with me so much that I find myself hoping that meeting you was some sort of magical incident -- that you are my white rabbit.
Your work makes my heart leap. It is gorgeous and arresting and and makes me feel things. It also awakens a possibility I put to sleep a long time ago because I thought it was too impractical. I wanted to be Picasso when I was eight years old, just like I wanted to be a New York Knick. In the zero-gravity space inside my head, it was definitely going to happen. I was going to be a great artist unbothered by offices and desk jobs and mundane concerns.
But I ran into you because I was on my way to work in an office, at a truly excellent, world-renowned company that churns out awesome, inspiring nuggets of wisdom on smart looking cards and gifts. I have worked here for 10 years, since college, when I started out stuffing envelops because I wanted to be a part of the organization in any way possible. My position, which was created for me, has blossomed over time and really, I think I have a job that most people dream about. I'm the lady who picks the quotes. And really, it is great, it is about the best desk job a girl could ever ask for. But it's not Picasso -- or, in my present day parlance -- Maira Kalman.
I feel a bit foolish and embarrassed writing all this to you. Shouldn't I just be out there doing it!? What am I waiting for? I am, after all, the creator of follow-your-dreams paraphernalia. But I'm scared of letting go of what I have for something unknown. I suppose this letter is somewhere between a very, very earnest piece of fan mail and a message in a bottle. Thank you for reading it, and for being where you were in the world the other day. It was delightful meeting you.