Friday, October 10, 2008

The Letter

For many years now I've had a little book called "Gift Of A Letter" by Alexandra Stoddard. The book is dedicated to "one of the most intimate and touching of human expressions": the letter.

This book reaffirms the pleasure of actually writing. If you are like me, you spend so much time typing on the computer that when it comes time to jot a note, you notice an appreciable decline in your penmanship.

I completely share the author's love of fine stationery and good pens. My preferred thing to write on is actually rough newsprint-grade yellow legal pads with blue lines. I need a pen that glides. I have a collection of embossed Crane note papers which I can barely stand to use, I prefer to gaze at them in their perfect boxes in pristine condition. That is a situation that I am vowing here to change.

Lately I have received so many notes and letters that it has given me a whole new appreciation of getting a sentiment in the mail. We are lucky enough to still have at-the-door delivery, and I can't tell you how nice it is to get something other than bills. The book exclaims..."A letter is a gift. It can turn a private moment into an exalted experience. Unlike the phone, a letter is never an interruption. A letter doesn't require immediate attention' it can be saved and savored for the appropriate time and place. Whenever I answer the phone, I am at the mercy of another person's schedule....A letter is a treat with no strings attached."

Daily, over the past few months, I have relived so many memories. Letters have given me a connection to those moments long since past, that I can hold onto. Letters that bring such beauty and meaning to daily life are indeed a precious gift.

I have a book "My Dearest Friend". The personal correspondence of Abigail and John Adams. Their correspondence spanned forty years....that is dedication, indeed. "This is history at its most authentic and most engaging".

My mother kept all the letters that I wrote to my parents when we were living in Switzerland. I plan to put all of my most important letters together in a special box and spend some time on a cold winter night reliving my own history.

Write a letter to someone. Set up a cozy spot, with your best paper and pen....a cup of tea. Relax and really think about the recipient. You'll be transported. It's such a good gift to give.

1 comment:

  1. I have a lot of letters from our family in Poland. My mother always maintained that they never write. Ha! I think at this point she expected them to write daily and since they didn't she said they never did. I'm quite sure she didn't respond. But having found them now, I too can sit quietly in this winter and catch up to what has happened over there. I too now communicate with my cousins via email. While I like the instantness of the computer, I often print off their response to read when someone isn't standing over my shoulder wanting to download something or other. Thanks for a great blog yet again, it makes my morning brew go better. (I've switched to decaf and it's killing me).