Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Art of the Written Missive

I spent time in the last week renewing a snail-mail relationship with a dear friend. She has just published her second book on Catholic unschooling, and we e-mailed a bit, chatting about our different projects since I just finished editing a book project as well (The Book of Common Prayer 2011).

Over ten years ago, when my friend lived in Virginia, we "met" on the old Sonlight forums and immediately discovered much in common, including our names: Susie (me) and Suzie. We christened each other "Anne" (me) and "Diana" after the two kindred spirits in Anne of Green Gables.

So I dusted off my wooden writing desk, pulled out my antique-parchment stationery, picked up my beloved fountain pen, and wrote a long letter--both sides of the page even!

Writing a real letter is so much more personal than shooting off an e-mail or sending a text or a Facebook message; when we read someone's handwriting, with all its imperfections and quirks, we possess a window into the writer's soul; personality shines through the crossed t's and dotted i's and weird q's.

This is a lost art--the handwritten letter. We may handwrite a thank-you note from time to time, but how often do we sit down and write a multiple-paged letter to a dear friend? And what an investment in friendship such a letter is!

And then there is the sheer joy of writing such a missive...for me, anyway. Of ink gliding across parchment, of scratch of nib and flow of idea, of careful expression of words and phrases. Writing a letter is a lovely way to spend an hour as well as a wonderful way to rekindle a friendship or even start one.

It's a lost art, the handwritten letter.

Is it an art you would like to help revive? Just pick up a pen and allow heart to flow like ink across the page....

With writerly affection,

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