ode to the letter…
i have been thinking about paper. . . . and pens.
and the miraculous thing that those two things combined can make . . . a letter.
yes, a letter, a real letter! you know the kind we used to send and receive. pre-email. pre-text. pre-technology.
ahhh, yes, a letter. a letter. . . (insert lamenting voice here)
as I sit here fully embracing technology, yet in a bittersweet way. blogging away in a medium that will be completely untraceable generations down the road I think about the longevity of paper and pen.
i think about the ceremony of letter writing. the sanctity of it all.
the thrill of a letter in the mailbox.
“ ah, a letter. . . . a letter.” (insert sigh with a deep breath.)
the hypnotic loops and curls of someone’s penmanship. the tear-stained, ink-blotted, dirty-fingerprinted, perfume-laced pages of a letter.
those are real.
those things, those tangible, heartfelt imprints of time, and place, and feeling, and friendship, and love, and passion . . . . those are real.
ask someone if they’ve ever cherished an email or a text.
held it to their heart.
carried it around in their wallet.
slept with it under their pillow.
smelled the fibers under the words.
we have a letter framed on the wall that our grandfather sent to our grandmother in the early 1900s, they were just teenagers.
and i can see the haphazard curve and slant of his pencil scrawled letters and i can slightly see a few similarities in my own handwriting. i can feel the excitement in the words as they get a little less precise as the letter grows longer. i can connect with him. i can connect with someone i never met, by reading and seeing and touching this piece of paper.
his love letter to the love of his life. folded, tattered, and torn from years of moving from place to place in our grandmother’s dresser drawer.
i wonder if any of our great grandchildren will someday cherish a text we sent to the love of our life? or an email?
more than likely they won’t frame our cell phones on the wall and display the texts.
that medium will be gone with the sands of time. gone with the next technological revolution.
deleted out of someone’s inbox. And gone forever.
damn thee technology! (if shakespeare were only here. . . )
but a letter, a handwritten note . . . well, I dare say that will never be phased out.
so here . . on the eve of valentine’s day . . . i think what a wonderful present to send or receive. . . a letter or just a lil’ note to a dear friend or family member, to someone who has touched our lives, to a favorite teacher, or to the love of your life . . . . that way they know. without doubt. for all of time what we hold in our hearts for them.
and maybe just maybe . . . someday, a 100 years from now, . . . it will be framed on someone’s wall . . . our thoughts, our words . . a lasting part of this world . . . a part of us that stays around long after we are gone. (unlike that blasted cell phone that’s sitting inches from all of us at this very moment. . . damn thee technology!)
so . . . i think i’ll quit typin’ now. . . and maybe just maybe pick up a piece of paper. and a pen. and see what happens. . .
long live the letter!
til then. . . all my love. . . amie