This may date me, but I started university before most of my friends had email accounts–I got (and sent) letters by post every day. There is nothing quite like getting a handwritten note, however brief, in the mail. In the age of Twitter, Text, Instagram, and FaceTime, news travels much faster than the good old postal system can compete with. But there is no substitute for a the tactile joy of opening a letter to see the quirky handwriting of a not-so-near dear one.
I lost my pen pal (my maternal grandmother) last year, so the letters that come and go are fewer still. These days, the mail brings mainly online orders and bills (decidedly not fun), but once in while, I’ll get a card, or lovely note from a friend. I still love sending and receiving them, so as my heart begins to heal, I’m starting to put pen to paper again.
I have owed you this letter for a very long time-but my fingers have avoided the pencil as though it were an old and poisoned tool.
– John Steinbeck
Writing a handwritten note isn’t always as easy as one would think, though. It can be daunting to figure out what to say, for somehow it matters more when it’s committed to paper than when sent whirring through cyberspace. But I’ve come up with a few reminders for myself when I’m having difficulty getting the words out. (more…)