My heart was trembling as I walked into the post office, and there you were

My heart was trembling as I walked into the post office, and there you were

Contact can be so many things. It can be a balm to our emotional wounds, or perk us up like a cup of good coffee. Like many of the best things in life, contact comes in many forms. We can get what we want from a table for two, or a conversation on the phone, or even a quick hit from a well-timed hug. For many though, the purest form of contact remains words.

One need not be a poet for their words to hold great currency with the intended reader. One only need be honest, since honesty is so often clouded and kept hidden in our daily interactions. For some reason we feel afraid or ashamed of it. Or perhaps we think it will lead to a situation we can’t deal with. So instead of professing ourselves honestly, we keep things close to the vest.

Unless we meet someone we feel worthy of our most honest words; in which case we open up.

That’s what Klara gets in Alfred’s letters. Not profound declarations of love, not grand poetry – just emotional honesty. With their identities hidden, and thus nothing at risk, both Klara and Alfred can speak freely and write the truest words that dare flash through their brains. They can, in essence, be the best versions of themselves that they’ve ever wanted to be. They aren’t weighted down by little habits that annoy each other, there is no negativity in sight to hamper their words. Instead the thoughts are exchanged week-in and week-out. Always providing that balm, that comfort, that cup of good coffee.

So when Alfred learns Klara’s identity and stops writing, is it any wonder that this is her expression? This quick peek of both sadness and confusion?

It’s as if the sun has been shining on her for months and now the clouds have gathered. Earlier in the film, Alfred compares a sealed envelope to feeling like a millionaire. Well to Klara, the locked door of her mailbox makes her feel like a millionaire. So imagine her disappointment when she discovers that she’s flat broke. Every walk into the post office gets her heart pounding in anticipation of the words to come…so when she opens that mailbox and there are no words, it’s a little like getting her heart broken.

We’ve begin to consider contact a commodity in this new century, after all it seems like you gets people’s thoughts and opinions from every angle whether you want them or not. And yet, within that commodity, there are still words that can lift us up, spur us on, and make our entire day. Sometimes they come from dear friends, sometimes they come from writers we’ve never met. Either way, they’re very powerful in the way they can soothe, enlighten, and engage us.

Imagine the sadness we’d feel if those words suddenly went away.


Here’s three more from THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER for the road…


Ochi Tchornya


Anna and The Carnation

This series of posts is inspired by the “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series at The Film Experience. Do check out all of the awesome entires in their series so far