I know we’re all mad busy running around after people, chasing work and doing what our boss “needs” (sometimes I think our bosses actually need something else entirely but that’s another story) but I want you to do something for me, dear reader.
I want you to write a letter to someone.
A nice letter too, not one from “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.
Because nice letters really make a difference.
I was sent a link to the cartoon above the other day and it made me smile, then it made me a little wistful, as I realised that we’re in danger of losing the art of letter-writing. I apologise to the uncredited artist – I did briefly look
We don’t always even send postcards now, preferring a text or an email. And yes, it’s immediate, there’s less risk of it getting lost, but you can’t put postcards on your fridge, can you?
And a postcard on the fridge means something. It means “I thought of you while I was on holiday”. And it means “I liked it when you sent me this – I’m putting it up so you know, when you come round, that I liked getting it”. Simple things, but we are too busy living at 90 miles an hour today – we’ve forgotten the simple things.
And that’s just a postcard.
Think how surprised your friends would be to get a letter, an actual letter.
Mrs B thinks she got sent a pen. She didn’t, I did. I’m a pen nerd and this is almost identical to a pen I was given thirty-odd years ago, so I’m having it. It was a Sheaffer as this is (this one is the Sagaris and comes in a range of colours), with lovely clean lines. Everyone else at school had pens from Woolworth, Smiths or even Parker (if they were posh/not inclined to lose them) so mine was special and while it wasn’t really that expensive, it was my pride and joy.
And I wrote to people. People who’d moved away or friends from overseas who had gone home.
Okay, it was pre-internet, and phoning people was expensive and somehow difficult, so writing was a pretty good option as the letter would go at its own pace, arrive when it could, be opened and read when it could, maybe even trigger a reply. All at its own pace, not will-you-be-in-on-Tuesday-so-I-can-call-you pace.
Sheaffer believe that #WritingIsForever and never have I loved a # more as I really couldn’t agree more.
E-mail is well named – it replaces letters well, but we are the poorer for not writing letters. The curl of a ‘g’, the struggle to decipher lines where the writer gets excited and rushes headlong through the thought, getting it down before it vanishes, the “did you actually WRITE THAT DOWN” moment when you read something then re-read it twice, the simple act of turning a page, not knowing if there are two more words left or two hundred, the knowledge that this letter is secret, unknown to anyone else and you have the only copy.
All this is lost to us now with our homogenised sterile Times New Roman.
And yes, dear reader, I am full aware of the irony of writing this on a blog in Times New Roman.
If I had your addresses I would have written to you, honest.
PS I’m not nicking the pen. Probably. Although Cheeky may do.