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

 

Letter to self,

everything I could never tell you

All the words I think but don't always tell

15:49pm GMT

In Sister’s Room

Home

Dear me,

I would address this more specifically but we do have a terrible habit of changing our preference of what we go by and what people call us. I am writing a letter to my future self, where ever and whenever I have chosen to read it again. This is as bizarre as the last time I did it, if just a little more familiar. I doubt you even get letters anymore, I know that I’ll be sorry about that, I like letters, they will be an archaic form of communication but nevertheless a lost art form.

I’m not writing to set us a goal or a target for the future I have no doubt that we will achieve whatever we have set you to do.  This is simply a reminder not to run away from life, happiness and what you really want. I know you, I know what you are like, you let fear of upsetting or hurting the people around you stop you; I don’t think you can live a whole life caring for other people’s emotions and neglecting your own. I speak from experience as much as you like living vicariously and sharing others happiness it’s not really your own.

I just want you to remember at an unspecific point in time who you are right now, at this specific moment. I’m lost in the utopia, the no place, stuck in a transition between my youth and adulthood. The things I know is that love is an incredible force, my friends and family are my world and hugs are wonderful. My head is an amazing if complicated place to be. I don’t always like my reflection, sometimes I hate for so many reasons. I have no regrets but I’m not proud of everything I have done. I have never been in love and I don’t believe in it, I’m too pragmatic to believe I would give up everything for someone or that I would open myself up to so much hurt. I don’t even think I could have children I think the pain of love would kill me. I think love for the people around me is killing me. I’m still however at heart the greatest romantic and an optimist masquerading as a pessimist. I lose hours just staring at the beauty in the world, at the splendour of my own little part of it and at the magnificence in the imperfect and small things. I am in utter awe of humanities creativity and its development, especially its ability to communicate ideas and in constant fear of atrocious acts it is capable of. I believe in humanity’s potential. I’m not numb anymore, but I’m not as happy as I used to be, in fact right now I’m terrified, terrified of not becoming the person I am meant to be. I’m terrified but I’m not holding back, I’m not a coward, the path maybe rough but I know deep down I am tough enough for this world. I adore the possibilities I have. And I used to be a dreamer, not so much now.

I hope you have remembered everything you have learnt up till now, things such as you should always believe in something no matter how small. Maintain that brilliant contradiction of always believing but questioning everything. Always know that magic is everywhere in the world if you look for it. I hope you reading too much, always have a camera to photograph everything and always have a jotter handy to write every moment and thought large and small and everything in between. I hope we still live every moment like it will never happen again, that we have travelled, done and experienced as much as we can, grabbing every chance has created some great memories. I hope we don’t wait till we are ready because I fear we will wait forever. Be happy but remember to feel, don’t let yourself be numb again, don’t let your soul die.

I have to wonder where and what I’m doing and who I have become. How do we compare? The person who was, the person now and the person I have become. I can only answer two of those, I hope I have grown and change, my identity still fluid and full of possibilities. I wonder in our quest to reach the stars where did we land? I hope we lost and found ourselves a million times over because that’s the only way to know who we really are. If you are not still a geek, you have betrayed your roots and I hope music, art and literature still makes you giddy and smile. Most of all I hope our pile of good things that has happened in life is bigger than the bad and that neither one has tarnished the other. Everything bad that happens is an experience and everything good is wonderful. I hope that you have learnt from everything that has happened and that everyone who has entered your life did so for a reason and help you grow and be simply you.

I hope you still ramble like this because being in your head most of the time is a pleasure.

Yours lost in utopia at 21.

Age and letters here