Thursday, July 05, 2007

Love Letters

I love letters! Writing them and receiving them. Everything about them.

When I write a letter, I experience a moment of closeness with the intended recipient. I picture that person's face, his smile, her tenderness. I love everything about the letter-writing process:

* Choosing the stationery
* Choosing the pen and ink color (I often write with fountain pens)
* Choosing the location to write from (I have a little tea nook that is a common writing corner)
* Choosing the topic and tone
* Thinking of the recipient - bringing that person close to me
* Choosing the stamp
* Sending off with the daily post
* Anticipating a smile when the recipient picks up the day's mail

I also love receiving letters:

* Picking up the mail to find a hand-addressed envelope (or postcard)
* Enjoying the texture of the envelope, the weight, the color
* Opening and taking in the person's handwriting, the type of stationery, the ink color
* Reading the news and thinking of the person who sent the note
* Smiling because I've been remembered

E-mail makes communication so convenient, and I appreciate that. However, there's nothing like a hand-written letter (card, note) to bring a closeness that can't come with e-mail. I keep my most treasured letters and enjoy re-reading them at a later time. The DH (dear hubby) and I even send notes to one another. From this house, through the post, and back to this house. It's a gift and delight to receive his card in the mail! With a letter comes a bit of the person who sent it - the hand writing, the language, the message.

For inspiration about letter-writing, I highly recommend The Gift of a Letter by Alexandra Stoddard. She's one of my favorite authors and does a fantastic job of showing the beauty of this art form. Stoddard says,

"Many people do think their written replies will reveal the vulnerability of their souls. And, of course, they do. That is why letters are such a powerful form of self-expression."

"I have come to realize that a letter written from the heart is an extraordinary gift - something that can mean much more than the mere words on a sheet of paper. The gift, I've discovered, is hard to describe, but it's as much a present to ourselves as to others."

Will you join me in writing a letter? Pull out your stationery that's been sitting too long in a drawer. Make a hand-crafted note. Or simply buy a nice greeting card at the pharmacy. Add a heart-felt message to your intended and send it with kind thoughts.


Allison said...

I had a boyfriend back in the day (high school!) who was away in the Army. We wrote letters back and forth to each other and the feeling of receiving one of his letters was better than anything my high school brain could imagine! We even had secret "codes"- e.g. putting the stamp on upside down meant "I love you". I still have those letters. Not because I need to remember him, but because of what treasures they once were to me.

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Anonymous said...

I love letter writing, too! I devoted an entire page to it on my once-upon-a-time personal homepage (remember those??). Check it out:

Hope you are well, Steph. Continuing to enjoy your blog every day!

Cin said...

I'm a fan of letter-writing (and receiving) too. There's something really wonderful about seeing a hand-addressed envelope amidst all the bills and circulars.

I've borrowed this book from the library at least a half-dozen times in the past few years, and it's inspired me to invest in good quality inks for my fountain pen and some absolutely delicious stationary, but would you believe I had no idea it had been reissued? I'm going to add it to my wishlist!