Eleven Letters from Eric from 1986 to 2002

Eleven letters written by my hometown friend Eric Canuteson inspired the collages pictured here. He wrote the first one in 1986, and the last one arrived in 2002 before e-mail took over as our means of correspondence. Near the end of 2011, I was devastated to learn that Eric suffered an untimely death at age …

Quantum States Collapsing: Eric’s Last Letter

Between Eric’s penultimate and final letter, an entire decade passed with a new millennium folded inside. Further correspondence by e-mail followed, but I missed his distinctive handwriting. To honor the last letter, I decide to embed a photocopy of the letter in layers of paper and then uncover parts of it in a décollage process. …

Your House Isn’t Like Other Houses : Eric’s Ninth Letter

As a graduate student in Scotland, receiving letters from home was cause for rejoicing. I still remember how happy I was to receive an aerogramme from Eric in January of 1992. CATHERINE I sit a stone’s throw from the house where you lived in Liberty (“your house?”, “your parents’ house”?) — where better to start …

Something More Original: Eric’s Eighth Letter

Letter number eight was postmarked July 20, 1990 and arrived on University of California, San Diego letterhead: Catherine, How are you? You’ve got to write me and tell me what the hell’s going on in your life. As you no doubt concluded from the letterhead, I am working in San Diego this summer. I will …

A Lonely and Frightening Thought: Eric’s Seventh Letter

A circular postmark dates the seventh letter as April 5th, 1989. Eric writes: Catherine, It is great to hear from you, as always. I’ve been thinking of you too recently and I almost started a letter. However, my physics lab class doesn’t allow for such frivolous behavior. Yeah, my class really sucks this block, but …

Herd-Like Organizations and Bota Bags: Eric’s Sixth Letter

The exact date of Eric’s sixth letter is uncertain, but my guess is late spring 1988. Accompanying the letter was an application form and a catalog with “a lot of propaganda” (Eric’s phrase) about Colorado College. I was thinking of transferring from Westminster College after an unhappy freshman year there, and I appreciated the concern …

Christian Ethics and Love Exists: Eric’s Fifth Letter

Turning to a new missive dated March 8th, 1988, Eric opens the letter with a response to a debate we’d been having about Christianity. Catherine, I think your analysis of the Christian as one who would deny hatred is more than unfair. The Christian knows hatred. In fact, the hatred of the Christian is a …

Eleven Letters from Eric: The First Letter

The collages pictured here are the first in a series that takes inspiration from eleven letters written by my hometown friend Eric Canuteson. He wrote the first one in 1986, and the last one I received arrived in 2002 before e-mail took over as our means of correspondence. Last December, I was devastated to learn …

Pink Floyd and Physics Finals: Eric’s Second and Third Letters

The next letter arrived in April 1987 and introduced me to Eric’s love of Pink Floyd. I listen to Pink Floyd all the time. I’m doing so right now. The album The Final Cut. I always enjoyed it when Eric told me where he was or what he was listening to while he was writing …

Garden of the Gods, “It Isn’t to Be Polite,” and the Tightrope Walker: Eric’s Fourth Letter

After a letterless five months, I was delighted to receive an illustrated missive in November 1987. Eric wrote the first part of it while visiting the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs. Catherine, Greetings. I am watching the sunset at this time. I’m out at the Garden of the Gods which is a large group …