and here it is!
I found this envelope in my mail box the other day addressed “just to me”. There’s practically a radiance to any such envelope! Don’t you feel the same way when you find a letter in your box addressed just to you? Letters are so great! They’re a complete treat! And though each and every letter is a thrill to receive, this one, from a person I did not know, was especially exciting for me to discover. It was a mystery letter!
I guess the people working in my Hudson Post Office must know me by now. I do give them a great deal of business so though the address on the envelope wasn’t quite right they still managed to deliver the mystery letter to me. You see, I live on East Streetsboro Street, not West Streetsboro Street.
Being the avid letter writer I am, member of “The Letter Exchange” (a letter writer’s organization) and one who encourages people I meet and like to write to me, well, I get lots of letters from all sorts of people. Many letters come from my old and steadfast pen friends, but other letters arrive from people I don’t know very well or at all. It’s a thrill receiving each and every letter, but it’s a special kind of thrill when the letter comes from a stranger. There’s mystery there and don’t you love a little mystery every now and then?
I could hardly wait to open the envelope of this, my latest mystery letter. Are you just a little bit curious too? The return address told me the letter came from a gal named Andria and she lived fairly close to me, just across town. What did Andria have to say to me?
I carefully cut open the envelope and discovered a handwritten message in copper-colored ink. I love a handwritten letter. It’s so much more personal than one printed by a machine. Now I discovered how Andria found me. She opened her letter with these words:
“When I saw your website dedicated to the joys of letter writing I was thrilled. I too have (recently) begun letter advocating. I am always telling people what fun it is to find a handwritten letter peeking out from underneath the electric bill in my mailbox, but they usually just shrug and say that email is so much faster, cheaper, etc.”
Well, I was thrilled that Andria not only discovered my website, but I was also thrilled to meet another kindred spirit, someone spreading the word concerning the joys of letter writing. I know there are many people out there like Andria and me (maybe you’re one of them), people who love letter writing or would love letter writing if they were only introduced to it.
There’s a lot of advertising going on regarding all the latest technology in communication, but not very much, if any at all, about the pleasures of the personal touch in communication – the pleasure of slowing down and reflecting with another human being in an unrushed, leisurely manner, pen in hand – the pleasure of using beautiful materials (colorful inks, lovely papers, sealing wax, charming postage stamps and stickers of all kinds – the opportunity letters give us for art play as well as personal expression.
Email is fine. It has its place, but to compare email to letter writing is like comparing a meal of bread and water to a gourmet feast, a feast complete with wine and fancy desserts set in a beautiful room drenched in candlelight with romantic music playing in the background There really is no comparison. This analogy reminds me of another from George Du Maurier, the French-born British cartoonist and author of the late 1800’s. George wrote:
An apple is an excellent thing – until you try a peach
and so it is with email versus The Art of Letter Writing!
Well, I had to answer Andria’s letter right away so I dug out my art supplies and whipped up some stationery just for her, one- of- a- kind stationery for my newest kindred spirit.
I do use store -bought papers at times, but I really enjoy creating my own stationery. The art play is an added creative benefit to the expressive Art of Letter Writing. We have the words and ideas to share in letters, but working with the physical materials of color and design adds our very own personal and creative touch. Technology may be great, good at many things, but only a person can create their own personal touch! And there’s nothing like the personal touch to warm the heart and bring out the “human” in human beings.
I decided Andria’s letter paper should be decorated with scraps of papers put together creating a floral design. This is one of my favorite stationery concoctions. The colors of the paper determine the color of ink I load into my fountain pen and it’s my hope that the look of the finished letter –
everything from its salutation
to its closing, where my “C” initial is stamped with sealing wax,
to my name which is always written on the back envelope flap
is pleasing to my letter friend.
The physical look of a letter is important for just as the look of our clothes or our home reflects us so too does the look of our letter and it seems important to me to send out as good and pleasing an impression as possible. After all, the gift of a letter is like any other gift. It’s not about how much that gift costs, but rather the care and sentiment of that gift.
That’s why even the envelope of any personal letter deserves a little extra attention to make it fun to receive. I like to add exotic postage stamps from other countries. I scan those stamps and add them to our US postage. I’ll also create photo stamps, but those decorative touches are a subject for another post and here’s where technology comes in handy.
So a letter to Andria is waiting to go out, along with a few others, on the next mail day.
For all you know maybe one of these letters will be going out to YOU! It could happen. As with Andria, all it takes is for you to write me a letter first, and I’d love it if you would do just that. Why? You know. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again.
Sharing doubles the joy
It really does, and The Art of Letter Writing is a wonderful way in which to share.
Write me a letter or write someone else a letter and you’ll see for yourself what fun it can be – especially when you go to your mailbox as I do, as Andria does, and you find a return letter addressed just to you! There’s practically a radiance to that letter (or letters) you find. Take my word for it.