There are few things more precious to me than receiving a handwritten letter. It’s rare now, but the beauty of ‘slow’ is underappreciated.
I’m not talking about the notes you scrawl on sticky pads to remind your colleagues of something or other. I’m talking about real-live letters in the post.
Two of my dearest friends still bother to send letters and packages, and when they come, I set aside time to open their letters, and read them when the house is quiet and I’m finished with all of the ‘musts’ of the day.
Life is busy. I make my personal calls while I’m commuting. Tonight Siri dialed the Amazing C, and she told me that today she mailed a package to me.I now, have something to look forward to on Monday when it arrives. What better way to end a 14 hour work day than with a promise of a little hand-written happiness?
I have letters that were written to me over three decades ago; from family, friends, and pen-pals whom I’ve never met. I have every letter my ex-husband ever wrote to me.
This weekend, I had a long-lost love on my mind, and decided I’d pull out the letters he had written to me once-upon-a-time. For years I kept them in the same place, in the post-office package that he first sent to me, including the four printed photographs he’d carefully chosen.
Much like a journal, old letters can shed light on who you are, where you’ve come from, and maybe, in my case where you’ve gone wrong or right.
Love letters. Something I believe you should never throw away. Unless they’re from morons, and then by all means, have some strange burning ceremony and include their gochies if you have any hanging around your boudoir. Highly therapeutic darlings.
So this weekend I searched until I found these darn letters, and reread everyone. The question that was burning in my mind was; Did he ever say it? You know what I’m talking about, “I love you”. I was looking for it because lately I’ve been asking myself some pretty tough questions about relationships. I know, I know, it’s enough to ruin a girls’ complexion, but there you have it, I’ve been prancing around with much on my mind.
Now let me tell you, just the day before I had been speaking with a friend and telling them how rare it was for me to cry any more.
Life has battered me about ruthlessly; body, soul and heart. I’ve seen humanity at it’s best and worst, and tears just don’t come anymore, and if they do, it’s often it’s in the dead of night upon waking from some breathtaking nightmare. Clearly I need more booze, followed by a lifetime membership at Psychoanalyst’s Plus.
So, as it happened, I was about a page into these love letters from a tall, dark, handsome hunk of juicy mansteak, stretched out on my white duvet with the sun shining in my window when I saw them. Those three words written in his all-capitals-block-letter-handwriting unlocked the classified secret code to my tears.
As I sobbed, and I do mean sob and sniffled and bawled, I read the rest of the letters.
The written word is so powerful, especially now when techno-language has bastardized the beauty and art of precisely chosen words.
Re-reading those letters from so many years ago was like putting on new prescription lenses. The world made more sense, was reflected more clearly, and I was aware of just how much I had let myself miss out on because of my past.
Time really does speed up as you age. Reviewing the past via written letters, can inspire longing nostalgia as well as hold a glowing torch, illuminating the future. Handwritten notes have the energy of spiritual alchemy that is missing in instant messaging and even the spoken word.
When life has been sour, it is very refreshing to read the sweet words of love and friendship.
Sweeter still is when reflection helps you understand something about your own self that you’ve been trying to figure out for a very, very, long time.