Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Hand-written letters

Following on from my post about what makes a good paper, I want to talk about hand-written letters, which you don’t always see a lot of these days. I think that’s a shame, not only that people don’t take the time to write to each other, but because the biographers and historians of the future might be scratching about, trying to find evidence of what people said, thought and did. Will emails and text-messages be kept as long as some of the great letters have (Pliny, older and younger spring to mind here!).
There’s something very special about getting a letter. I love collecting the post up and seeing a hand-written envelope, knowing it will have a letter inside. I need to make time for this letter; put the kettle on, make myself comfortable. Then I can unwrap it and feel the paper crinkle as I open it. There’s nothing hurried about reading a letter – you have to pick your way through the writing; but you can feel the emotions of the writer from the pen strokes and really live the moment. This is especially true with airmail letters! That wafer-thin paper that rustles so beautifully and which feels like Braille on the reverse sides of the pages! Wonderful!
A hand-written letter means that someone has taken care and time over you. They have sat down and put pen to paper, thought about things, thought about what you want to know about, bought stamps and been to a post-box. For you. Doesn’t that make you feel special?
A hand-written letter conveys so much more than just the words it contains.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree! Since starting college I've been writing a lot of *real* letters. Unfortunately, I don't get many *real* responses, but I still love the writing of them, so I don't mind not being able to read them. I hope more of my peers will catch on to the joy of handwritten letters; it is truly something special.