Writing Letters Again
Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them. -- (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
When is the last time you received a personal hand-written letter in the mail? I can’t remember when. Although I do remember receiving a birthday card last year in which a friend had hand-written a lengthy personal message that I poured over many times, each time feeling connected to her in a different way, each time finding a new meaning in the words she had written. That feeling of connection just isn’t the same with an e-mail or text.
I got to thinking about this subject when I recently texted my granddaughter. This is my usual form of communication with both of my grandchildren since they are now grown, starting their personal journeys and looking forward to their futures. I like to impart to them little nuggets of wisdom that I’ve learned along the way. As I was thinking about what I wanted to say to my granddaughter, another friend simply said to me “write it down”.
That statement touched something deep inside me — memories. I remember when I was packing to move to North Carolina I discovered a small box containing letters from my then boyfriend (who later became my husband) when he was stationed away from home at National Guard basic training camp. Even though the marriage had ended badly, I had saved his letters, perhaps hoping to pass them along to my daughter at some point.
I thought about our digital age and the way we communicate with people, usually text, e-mail or social media, but very rarely with a phone call. These are all temporary and fleeting ways of communication, easily discarded. But letters and cards with hand-written messages in them? I believe these forms of communication were meant to be re-read, pondered and saved.
With that thought in mind, I have purchased personal stationery and plan to put pen to paper and cursively write (no typing allowed) letters to my grandchildren — short, pithy, and hopefully “save-worthy”. No reply will be required, but an acknowledgment is always appreciated. This new activity is really for my benefit as much as theirs. It will provide me with another writing outlet and make me feel more a part of their future.
I am very excited to begin this new writing activity. I encourage all of you to join me in a Writer’s Revolution! Revolt against all the new technological “fast” forms of communication. Take back the pen! Take back control from “auto-correct”. Make writing personal and readable again!
Remember, the pen is also mightier than the typewriter or texting!