Can you remember the last one that you received?
I recently received a hand-written letter. I couldn’t remember the one before that that I might have received. I did very much appreciate the letter. It did make me think.
Much of what arrives through our letter-box is unsolicited marketing or junk. The actual posted letters are substantially bills and the like. There have been many days when I have dreaded opening the door to see the post with the windowed-envelopes. Those days have not yet departed.
Even Christmas and Birthday cards have become perfunctory – simple hello, happy whatever and name of sender. How many others have received the exact same from the same sender – except change Mary to Margaret or whatever.
Modern technology for personal correspondence really does get to me. Texts are regularly sent to multiple recipients and you know that from the content. Both are of the “write-whatever, but write-fast “school of communication. I am totally against them as a means of personal and private communication – just think how many times you have received such a communication and your reading is different to what the sender intended.
The handwritten letter does convey such a different message. The sender has had to take time out to write this letter. They were thinking of you for the entire time they were writing the letter. They did not have a backspace or delete option with a pen so they considered what they wrote.
You, as the recipient, were important enough to the sender that they did spend that time for you. That is what I felt with the letter I received from Galway. The uplift from the letter was probably well beyond what the sender ever thought.
I have decided to send one hand written letter a month – probably to a friend of old who I have not met in a while but who I consider important but haven’t made that clear by my infrequent meet-ups or calls – life having got in the way.
If they reply, I will appreciate it greatly. Even if not, I hope that my letter will be appreciated. I suspect that I will feel better for the writing of the letter.
It also increases the likelihood of my letterbox accepting something other than windowed envelopes and junk.
So do your bit to lift the mood of your friends and relatives and to make you feel better – Write a Letter.
I have today finished reading Making Love – Tom Inglis.
I recommend it highly – very inciting, honest and revealing. In being so open about his own relationship and life experience, it does encourage a review of one’s own.
The author expresses the power of a letter so well.
“I like the vulnerability and openness that comes with handwritten letters: emotions seem to shake the words out differently onto the page. It makes reading between the lines easier. You can see the tiredness and frailty of the hand. There is less room to hide, to edit and delete. Aileen’s letters were always something more than the words. They had a presence beyond the pages. They were tactile. I could hold them as if I was holding on to her. When she sprayed her perfume onto the pages, I could smell her. There was the pleasure of opening up a letter, feeling the pages between my fingers, knowing that for the next ten or fifteen minutes I was going to go on an emotional journey that would end in tears. I was in her presence again. I could feel her through her words. It was not always important that they made sense. Often the sentences were more like paintings, a kaleidoscope of words whose beauty had to felt and experienced as much as read and deciphered.
Sending and receiving letters was an exercise in delayed gratification.”
Making Love – Tom Inglis.