As I was sitting in my kitchen this morning gazing at the apples and oranges on the table, my mind started to wander. I got to thinking about the expression people use when comparing two very different items. They often say, ” These things are like apples and oranges.”
I started thinking about all the many things in my life that are as different as apples and oranges, and how this rich mix of ingredients helps to make my days so fun and interesting. One of those ingredients, letters, is old style, but I also enjoy many new style methods of communication as well. Both together give me the potential for optimum sharing. Technology and The Art of Letter Writing do not have to be an “either/or”. They can be a “both/and”. Like apples and oranges they’re very different from each other, but both styles of communication have much to offer us.
Most people today think about technology quite a bit. They think about it, talk about it, dream about it, and spend lots of their money buying it, but I doubt if most modern people ever think about the Art of Letter Writing. They’ve either forgotten letters ever existed or they never discovered the delight of letters in the first place. Out of sight means out of mind and out of mind means dead and gone. But I happen to know from experience both forms of communication exist today and both are quite wonderful. I know this because I use both forms of communication every single day,
Technology vs. The Art of Letter Writing
Apple vs Oranges
One mode of communication travels very fast and the other very slow. One is composed swiftly and the other is composed in a gracious, leisurely manner. One form of communication encourages reflection and the other is saying “Get on with it, hurry up!” One is machine-made and the other is handmade. One is lasting and the other is here today and gone in an instant. One focuses on communicating brief ideas and the other encourages ideas to flow on and on in a stream of consciousness manner.
One is Technology and the other is ART.
I suppose there will always be people who like only what is shiny and new. But others of us enjoy and appreciate the good and beautiful from every era. And there are so many fine things from the past to enjoy – old movies, old fashion designs, old architecture styles, old books… the list goes on and on. Museums are filled with old treasures and people flock to see these things, but some old things can be embraced and incorporated right into our modern lives. Letter Writing is one of those old, but very valuable things. Letters can be enjoyed today just as they were enjoyed in days of old.
George Du Maurier, the French-born, British cartoonist and author of the late 1800’s said,
AN APPLE IS AN EXCELLENT THING — UNTIL YOU TRY A PEACH
And I say,
WRITING AND RECEIVING EMAILS AND TEXTS ARE EXCELLENT THINGS — UNTIL YOU WRITE AND RECEIVE ARTFUL, EXPRESSIVE, HANDWRITTEN AND VERY PRECIOUS PERSONAL LETTERS.
I would hate to have to choose between apples and oranges or apples and peaches. Wouldn’t you? I would also hate to have to choose between new and old styles of communication, but luckily I don’t have to choose and neither do you. Both forms of communication co-exist in my life very nicely offering me the best of new and old worlds. They’re both there for you too.
I start my day with reflection, a little art play, and then I’ll compose a handwritten letter to a friend. I’ll do a few things and later check my e-mail. I’ll do a few more things and the mail arrives – lovely letters from friends who live all around the world. More things are attended to, and perhaps I’ll write a post for my blog, and so the day proceeds – activity to activity, punctuated with breaks for communication, both old and new-style communication.
Have an apple. Have an orange,
Use your computer, but also slow down and write a thoughtful letter.
Old and new
A rich mix