Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Let's talk about letters. I love letters! I mean, who doesn't? Enjoyment-wise, they're right up there with puppies and gourmet chocolate. Or regular chocolate. I'm not that picky. Well, sometimes I am, but let's just go ahead and file that under "irrelevant" for now.

Opening a mailbox is like opening a wardrobe door. Most of the time, all you're going to find is the same old clothes that hang there everyday. Every once in a while, though, you find that you can step through that wardrobe, and magic comes flooding out.

Amid all the stiff, typed bills with their cellophane windows and the folded up junk mail addressed simply to "Resident," a small, white envelope with a humble, handwritten address is like a little whiff of Christmas.

Of course, that's just half the fun. I'm beginning to realize just how much I enjoy writing letters, too. I simply put my pen to paper and let go (metaphorically). It's the ultimate free write. Increasing my pleasure is the knowledge that in a few days, someone I care about will open their mailbox and find a surprise. I really love making people smile.

Like so many things, sending a letter is an act of faith. You seal it, stamp it, and send it off into the world, hoping it will make its journey safely, but never really knowing for sure until some kind of reply makes its own perilous way back across the globe, crossing continents and oceans to find you.

It's a pity email, texting, and social networking have driven good, old-fashioned correspondence to the brink of extinction. You get so much more of a sense of a person when you can hold their words in your hand and see the shape and slant of their letters and examine the weird spots where something on their table stained the paper.

Unlike the uniform font of electronics, with their flat, impersonal screens, letters convey the very vibrancy of life.

It's love in an envelope.

Listening to: Castle
Reading: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

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