The lost art of letters

I still write letters, I can’t help it, they are thrilling and I wish there were more in the world. There is something magical about sitting down with some beautiful stationary that the recipient will really appreciate, and scrawling over pages and pages in well chosen words that illustrate your thoughts perfectly. Deliberately telling your story in an intimate fashion and then folding your pages and addressing you letter carefully to look innocent and undetermined as it hides your secret words.  None of that really compares too receiving a letter diligently addressed to you in pen and opening it to find a tick volume of paper and curling up with a cup of coffee to devour your friend’s adventures.

Letters are a magnificently fulfilling form of long distance communication that has more potential to reflect and exhibit life that there modern counterparts. Quick and instant texts, emails and phone calls have taken over the thought of a letter because of their ease and freedom to communicate with anyone. Letters however are not about the immediate need for information about who is meeting you where that need nothing more than quick and instant words. No letters are for your fear as your child takes their first steps and not knowing where they will lead, the secrets that must never be over heard and indulgent retelling of your life.

There is a lack of sentiment in ‘I Miss You’ cards and catch up messages that is so easily captured in letters. How can a card picked up on the way to buy toilet cleaner measure up to the detail of attentive and personal words chosen by an individual? How can messages of two or three lines written in a moment meet the thoughtfulness of a letter that has painstakingly pieced together?  How when the world has never been smaller, when we can contact so many people not want to write elegant, wonderful letters filled with life.

There is something meaning full in a written letter that someone has bothered to write to you and conscientiously put effort into carefully scribing part of their life to you. A letter is not an instant automatic response; attention and consideration is put into every aspect of a letter that isn’t present with text messages and phone calls. Letters are an enduring reflection not only of the author but of the friendship presented by the letter that is lost in instant messages, emails and phone calls. Letters are kept and cherished to be re-read when they have yellowed and wrinkled like the hands that hold the fragile paper. In an age of instant communication I am sorry for the lost art of letters, I’m sorry that there will no longer be museums full of lost letters of no bodies discussing events and lives lost in time.

An article

 

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