Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the art of the letter


My grandmother sends me lovely handwritten letters regularly.  I cherish them.  Her sentiments are always sweet and thoughtful, the stationery beautiful, and her handwriting always reveals something about her mood or how she's feeling physically...the latest showed she was probably a bit tired.  I love to re-read them when I'm feeling in need of her encouraging spirit.  As I held her note, I started to think about about the (lost?) art of letter writing. 
In this age of instant digital communication, I wonder how many people actually write letters anymore? I remember a time when anticipating a letter from a friend or loved one was exciting.  Even the waiting had a certain romance about it.  I accepted the fact that it would take a few days for the letter to arrive; it was just the way of things.

So, while emailing and the like have obvious benefits, for me, it will never replace the letter.  Can a lover tuck a rose petal in an email?  A friend send a bookmark in a text message?  Doodle in the margins of an instant message?  Can you tie up digital communication with a pretty ribbon and tuck it away in a special box?  Maybe I'm revealing my inner fuddy-duddy, but I'm sad for my children's generation; many of them may never experience the unique beauty and charm of handwritten letters.

I think I'll write my son and daughter each a letter this week...and doodle in the margins.
xx