But actual work on the piece began when, years later, in a poor Italian fishing village called Chioggia, I found a letter, written on Christmas day in 1944, by children to grandpas that were at that time somewhere on the front lines, probably in captivity or perhaps already dead. Thumbnails of Donald Duck, Pluto, and Mickey Mouse were affixed at the header of the letter, but the framed children's letter had to be read from both sides. Hanging on the wall an opposite side was concealed such that the frame had to be periodically rotated in order to see the page on which the letter continued.
The duality of the framed letters, and my act of what I think of as voiceless intercommunication in turning the frame to read them, intensified for me the tragedy that generated the war. I tried to imagine the thoughts and feelings of the family members, hearing the sounds of the war in their heads while occasionally reading the children's letters while rotating the frame from side to side.