Dearest friend,

Class has been hard. Nothing as difficult as what you’ve been studying for sure, but it’s been hard because lately I seem to have lost my mind. Whenever I look at a piece of art done by someone from our region, I can’t help but tear up. Even before I’ve read the provenance – even if it's the most joyous dance, or even if it's just a simple painting, something about the sheer effort just breaks my heart. You’re going to laugh! So just don’t laugh! But I have given this great thought: I am being completely ridiculous for two reasons.

Firstly, I am studying to manage art. What kind of arts manager cries all over their artists? I'm going to be out of a job straight out of uni if I do, and we'll never get to rent that studio apartment that's just 15 minutes out of the financial district. (did you see the link I sent you of the one that's closer to your future office? how long do you think that price will hold?)

Secondly, success is not a stranger to our region, and struggling is not an experience we monopolise. But doesn’t that make it hurt more? The idea that everywhere you look, someone is still suffering? The idea that suffering is woven into art is both real and unfair. Why should we suffer? But at the same time, why can’t we suffer?

Do you remember that conversation we had when you were last home? The one where I told you about another thing I learnt in class? About how hard it is to answer the question of why art is important? It’s easy to say it just is. Just the other day, I spoke to a lovely Austrian lady who told me about how much pride and love her people have for art. They must have been born loving art. What a funny idea!! Do you think that the ability to love art can also be a birthright? Have we been denied that? It sounds horrible, but I wish we were! I would rather have us all secretly longing to know art, to love good art, than have us lacking the ability to appreciate art for what it is.

But what is art? How can our countrymen love art if they don’t understand it? My lecturer says that there are rules that define what art is, but we’ll spend our lifetimes trying to figure them out. She also says that people tend to think that art should be something, or do something. Art should have a message. Art should be beautiful. Art should make you feel something. Art should make you do something. But then, if Art doesn’t do what you want it to, does it stop being Art? Art is art just like people are people. But if people are people, then what is Art?

Art is language!!! HAHAHAHA.

I will tell you more about my theory another time. I have rewritten this letter for you four times already and it has gotten so thick that I think the aunty at the post office is going to tease me again. She always tells me that I need to buy normal envelopes because mine are so small and hefty that she thinks I am mailing contraband. hm. I will seal this with my good glue. If the envelope comes looking like it’s been opened before, we’ll know she wasn’t joking at all. I can already see your smile and hear your laughter, even though I’m not being very funny. Also!! Please tell me more about the guy you met the other day!! How does calling on Saturday morning sound? Whenever Saturday morning is when this reaches you. Unless we’ve already spoken about that. Then just call me anyway!! I’m sure we’ll have something to talk about.

P.S Please remember to sleep for at least 6 hours a day. I know uni is hard, but remember our goal to have long life old age happy fulfilled satisfied painless surrounded by loved ones death. You can’t die young if you want that. Also stop drinking with ###. You two always call me shitfaced at 3 am and I know I'm your only friend back home that sleeps at 3 am, but you guys only seem to call me when I have morning classes. Pick better days or quit drinking!! Love you though.

P.P.S You won't tell the others about what I say in our letters right? Not that it's anything important, but I might die from embarrassment!!!! Love you!!!!!!!

Sincerest love,