Thursday, February 27, 2014

LETTER WRITING


Some of my large collection. If you have ever written to me, you might be a part of my collection.

What's to become of the handwritten letter? I have been thinking how the art of the handwritten letter is becoming a thing of the past. Everything is sent electronically through the computer or iphone. Though today we type and Tweet and Text more about ourselves then ever before, it disappears into the ether of cyber space and somebody told me once we will be the least documented age. Could that be true? What an old fashioned thing writing a letter in our own handwriting has become! And yet what a personal, much more intimate and more permanent thing a letter received via the postal service is, especially one written without the help of a machine. Today while doing something else, I happened upon a large, ongoing file I have been collecting over the years for quite a lot of years now actually. . . letters written in the hand of a family member or friend. How can I express the emotions I felt reading the thoughts which people I love (some of them gone now) have sent me in their own unique handwriting? My grandmother's penmanship grows shakier through the years as she ages. My children's round, childish printing, my dad's angular uppercase printing, my mother's flowing script. A bit of each person is there encapsulated in their handwriting along with their thought-out sentences and spelling mistakes and complete words with out any chopped up English written in "text speak". It occurred to me that hand written letters are art, documentation, journaling, and very personal. Someday writing letters will become a quaint hobby rediscovered by artistic folks. I write a letter to my daughter, far away now, every week. I'm glad I do, and I plan to step things up a bit and write to more of my friends and family by hand too, without a machine. Just me, a pen and some paper with all my misspellings and imperfect handwriting for as long as there is a postal service to aid me in sending people I care about a little piece of my personal self, I will hand write letters. And who knows, maybe one of them has a collection too and my thoughts and handwriting will be there, safe, to be viewed by the future, leaving a trace of myself behind that wasn't deleted by a delete button.