Thursday, February 25, 2010

pen to paper

Due to very special, positive vibrations in the universe, a couple Dollinks-O-Mine and I are on the same wavelength this week.
DollinkDaughterLLS blogged about IT on February 23rd.
DollinkFriendD sent me an e-mail about IT today.

What is IT?
IT, my friends, is -- Letter Writing.

Letter writing.
Where you take an actual pen to an actual piece of paper
to write greetings of hello and thoughts of the day and sharing newsy chitchat...
...with family.
...with friends.
Letters that you address to an individual, and mail off to that person's place of residence or post office box.

Not e-mails.
Not FB messages.
Not IM.
Not Twitters.

Remember back a bit - if you were so lucky - to when you would receive the occasional friendly and heartfelt letter. How finding one in your snail mailbox always seemed like such a gift. How your heart might get to racing in anticipation of its content. How delightful to hold a letter in your hands and read it - over and over again. The tactile experience of handling the paper. Pondering over the individuality of the handwriting. Perhaps even trying to visualize where your friend was when writing these words to YOU.

Pen-to-paper letter writing has become something of a Lost Art. Wow - that might be a bit of an understatement. Handwritten letters are fast becoming an outdated and antiquated form of communication. Face it, sending letters through the mail is downright slow. Who regularly hand writes letters anymore? Come to think of it, who gives stationery as a gift anymore? Ironic, isn't it - that both are less common acts than ever before and yet - to get a hand written letter is a 'simple something' that is still so prized.

Once upon a time, I wrote many a letter of the pen-to-paper variety.
I miss the act of writing and the ritual of prepping a letter to mail.
I miss the sense of accomplishment I feel when sending a letter.
Moreover, I miss receiving replies from those I exchange letters with.
Any heartfelt letter, more so, a hand written letter - is a gift of one's time. Precious commodity, time.

It must be said that I embrace the instantaneous communication of e-notes. I have professed to being the Queen of E-Mail. However, let it be known that I do miss the old-fashioned version of correspondence.

Just last weekend, I began a pen-to-paper letter (on lightweight 'overseas stationery', yet) to a friend in Japan. At one time, DollinkFriendItoSan and I exchanged written missives very regularly. Lengthy letters. That is, until we were both caught up with the electronic word as a speedier means. Somehow, though - between the two of us, the e-word has never been as satisfying a way to stay connected as snail mail letters. I suppose ItoSan and I are decidedly old school.

Last year, as he does every year, DollinkFriendItoSan sent a chatty hand-written note with his annual Christmas card. Typically, to reciprocate the holiday greeting, I write and mail to him a brief Happy New Year note. This year I decided to pen him a real LETTER, several pages in length, which will be (very ceremoniously) folded and sealed into an (airmail) envelope, affixed with the appropriate postage and sent out in a day or two.

Boyohboy, will DollinkFriendItoSan be surprised. And pleased.

Hope upon hope, he will write back to me.

Many many years ago, (has it really been over two decades?!?)  I sent away (yes, by snail mail) to The International Paper Company for printed copies of Garrison Keillor's article - 'How to write a personal letter'. I still have those two copies, kept in plastic page protectors to keep from getting creased and /or bent. These I keep in my desk of writing implements: blank cards, stationery, special pens and - get this - sealing wax and wax seals! Every once in a great while, I take out the article and read it through to remind myself of the importance of the hand-written word in personal correspondence. Modern technology makes it possible to share my romanticized, sentimental view of hand-written letters with you on this blog. 'Google' makes it possible for me to link you to  Garrison Keillor's article as well. Enjoy.

1 comment:

baffle said...

DollinkFriendItoSan DID write back. 5 pages, in long hand, on tissue thin airmail paper. replies to my words and much news of his own. a precious letter exchange - just like the old days...