Letter From J.D. Salinger

One of my treasured possessions is a letter from J. D. Salinger. On our fifth anniversary, my husband had it archived in a sealed frame. During my movings and travelings, somehow, it always stayed safe. Now it hangs on our wall.

When I was a teenager, I discovered Salinger. Immediately, I felt a connection. I avidly read all of his books – sometimes immediately beginning all over after the last word of the book. Because of Salinger, I looked at literature, life, everything in a different way. His books were well thumbed and full of underlined passages. Zen and its nuances opened my mind to yet another way of perception.

In 1976, I found my interest in disco and partying palling. An intense relationship ended. I plunged into a deep depression, my life one of empty sorrow. One night, I sat down and poured out my heart in a letter to Salinger. I felt, he would understand. He would understand how people scarred our hearts, how strange the world felt. With no hope, I mailed the letter to his publisher.

Several months later, I opened my mailbox and pulled out an envelope with handwriting I did not know. I opened it and began to read. How my spirit lifted. How amazed and grateful was my heart. Mr. Salinger had not only received my letter, but had read it and….miracle! Responded. He had no idea how he would affect me. To this day, I can feel that flutter as I read his words. Brief, but he knew. He knew how I felt and reached across miles, years, culture, fame…..

Below is the letter. A poor photograph but I think you all can read it. We never know how our responses will touch someone. His response has triggered in me a gratitude and sensitivity to those who comment or speak to me. My words will touch them. Today, Mr. Salinger’s words touch you all as well, just because of how he responded to me.

 

salinger

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