Please view the full-scale image as well.
In 2002, within the New York City Clerk's Office, within one of the many partitioned rooms where Heather and I waited to push papers registering our domestic partnership, is a prayer tree of sorts.
The trailing couples, 30-deep in line to speak through clusters of small holes, were pressed up against a thin plexiglass panel that protected the municipal wall from the public's filth. Our predecessors had been as well it seemed: Behind the clear sheet, six inches from each of it's edges, happy hopeful couples had stuffed small notes (messages, wishes, primarily proclamations of devotion), each handwritten while waiting to cut checks and sign duplicates. We loved the marked scraps and spent much of our wait examining their variety and warmth. After queuing through, we paused to add a note of our own; a gesture in appreciation of the inscribed sentiment (the text itself, something short and common once nestled amongst the wrinkled bits).
Images of these brief letters still anchor my recollection of what was perhaps the most human "New York" experience I've had since I could begin calling the city my home.