I have always wondered why people no longer take time to sit down and write letters.
No longer take time to scribe the individual letters, which make up the words and thoughts that express a snapshot of a frozen time and place. You can feel the emotion (or lack there-of) of the person penning their sentiments, simply by looking at the actual ink upon paper.
You can read intent, and passion just by seeing the overall picture of how the letter is written. The true emotion of the writer is in the details: Is the writing sloppy or neat? Do you see the ink smudge across the words? You can guess that the letter writer is probably left-handed, or has sweaty palms - signaling that he or she is nervous. Did he press hard into the paper? Did she start a word and then stop in the middle of it - perhaps unsure if the chosen word was exactly how she wanted to express her feelings.
You can also sense apathy by how a letter is written. Was it rushed? Did he start the letter in one color ink, and then stop and change pens? Does the handwriting change from being engaged in the process, and suddenly, looks like it was just ended, to get it over with?
Mostly, you get to run your fingers over the paper and ink, from top to bottom, feeling the ridges, touching the sentiment, knowing that whomever was writing to you - took the time to say what he meant to say.
The creative process of letter writing is throwback to an earlier time, when life was slower, and words, thoughts and feelings not wasted. More deliberate. A time when men courted women; Women wrote their truest sentiments down on paper, and sealed their envelopes, as they arrived for their suitors.
I often imagine living in the 1920s, in a time and place which 'The Great Gatsby' would have known. I would have written letters then, even as I sat with my newfangled typewriter beside me. Or, perhaps, sitting outside on the perfect summer day in my high-backed, white Adirondack chair, with a ice-chilled drink in one hand, and a fountain pen in the other, jotting down my thoughts on expensive linen paper.
Often, I think about whether there truly are other people in the world, who appreciate just what all of this really means. Not that many left, I know.
The act of writing to someone engages all of the senses. Closing the eyes to picture the right image you want to capture, breathing deeply to find just the right emotion from inside, gazing off and imagining your recipient reading your words aloud, grasping the paper between his or her fingers. The smell of ink on the paper, distinctive and intoxicating. Perhaps, a spritz of perfume or a splash cologne, to add a little something extra.
The lost art of letter writing - has practically faded to black and is lost in the age of the internet, in people's need for instant communication. I love writing letters, and that passion will never die. So, if you receive a letter from me, open it with care, and tuck it away somewhere special and safe.
My letters are written with love, and gratitude. And of course, with the hope that you'll flip them open and closed a few times, run your fingers across the lines, smell the ink, re-read them, and remember why I chose you as my recipient.