Hello World: Messages from The Listserve

Each time I open an email from The Listserve, I want to reply.

Oftentimes, I wonder what would happen if I did. Most of these people actually left a email address, as well as their location. I wonder if it would add any serendipity to their lives if someone sent a hello. I imagine many already have. In the emails I’ve received, few have chosen to remain anonymous.

I wonder what made them choose to write what they did. I think all human beings want to be heard at some point. To have such a large audience instantly available—what character will you inhabit? What intentions will you have?

It’s the digital version of sending a message in a bottle off to sea, only you’re guaranteed readers.

Some of them wrote short pieces of advice that would, in another context, sound like a daily horoscope, or from a very grandmotherly sounding inspirational app. “Do something fun.” “Forgive.” “Be generous.” “Don’t be afraid.”

Others had short anecdotes about their travels. A visit to Vietnam. India. Crete. Albania.

They send tales about people and things. I learned about Patrick of Ireland. The joy of beekeeping. It’s like getting an email from Wikipedia.

There are interesting essays. An encounter with a one-armed frog. A parrot named Bagel. A recipe for a good Bloody Mary, or a love potion.

I love the miscellany. Book recommendations. International cooking projects. Lists. Words in other languages. The things they did that changed their lives.

It’s like someone’s library exploded and we were emailed fragments of it.

It’s also wonderfully free. Go sign up now.

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