Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A few words on paper

I have probably written 2 may-be 3 letters in the past 12 months, and this is not something I am all that proud of.  I used to write to many people most of whom I had never met.  That was long before I owned an Internet machine.  It was  before anyone even heard of the Internet, when I started being a  pen pal. I have written to people who lived on every continent.  At one time I was corresponding with over 20 people who fortunately didn't all write back immediately.  And sometimes I didn't either.

Some people I got to know really well others wrote what was more like a form letter.  Pictures of the kids, pets and grandchildren, new homes and cars were traded. Recipes and small gifts got exchanged, and we got to know each other. There would often be a small homemade booklet enclose called a friendship book, not to be confused with the autograph books we had as kid, in this FB...yes I know,  JUST NOTICED THAT, as it was called for short, one wrote their name address, birthday, especially if you were looking for a :birthday  twin" {as some people only wrote to "BTs"} a bit about yourself, like dislikes ,married many kids and or pets.  There were abbreviations included
NNP-no new pals
LLG- long letter gal, some one who was not interested in corresponding just to fill their mail box, but was looking for friends
SLP-sincere letter pal, meaning they wrote back immediately.
There were others.
What post card, stamp, tea towel, and what have you traders used to identify themselves with,are  things I forgot long ago. Remembered  though are the people who only traded SLAMS, which sounds cruels but was a again a small homemade book that consisted of mainly questions that you would answer, and then like the FB passed on and when it was full you sent it back to the person it was either stared for or started by.

I know now I have forgotten the power of words written for you to read, sent only to you, not for anyone else unless you want to share with them.  to pick up and pen and commit words to paper in an age when there are so many options has brought me a sharper focus on just how personal a letter is.  A handmade exchange of ideas between two people.  A communication that carrys with it bits of the writer on a molecular level as well as the subtle hints of their character, and they that they had something so important to tell someone, who was so important, that it was worth the extra effort of committing it to paper. 

Letters get saved, carefully put away to be read again, and again, not just love letters,  but any letters.  Having found letters  left in old furniture written about even the most mundane topics ,  my thinking  is these were a visit with that person, and kept like a keepsake , a visit, when a real visit was not possible.



Anonymous said...

This is just the inspiration I needed. Best Wishes – Julie

Avoiceinthewind said...

thank you, Julie!

Silebt Sunday befor Memorial Day