Keep us so near, while apart… I defy anyone to say that they don’t enjoy receiving a letter – now I mean real letters, not the flutter of envelopes that litter our doormats six days a week (thank heaven for Sundays), bringing us petitions for payment (red at worst), calls for compassion, not to mention all that aimless advertising. By a letter I mean within all the daily dismal detritus dumped inside the front door, you spy a different looking envelope than the boredom-brown or windowed-white ones… one with a well-to-do watermark within it, or maybe adventurous airmail livery, or possibly one of a cheery cheeky colour, or one that infers interesting invites… but, most importantly, one without the tiresome-typed front, but instead that heart-lifting feeling of recognising familiar handwriting, like a friendly face within a crowd of strangers, and when closely examining the post-mark upon the stamp (no pre-paid nonsense here – thank goodness), YESSSS, it’s from… (you-can-fill-in-the-blank).
Either way at some point you can greedily digest the content, whether it is a languid (maybe even lusty) love letter, a platonic passage of pleasantries, a charmingly cheerful coloured-in stream of child consciousness to credit your kindness, or an intriguing invite impelling you to attend an event you may or may not have been expecting… And, whatever is within, all of the above share the same marvellous mutuality, the formation of the letters, flow of words and framework of sentences will bring the sender’s voice and sentiment alive and heard to the reader, in a way that an e-mail, text or Facebook posting can never do. And what is more, those quintessentially quirky characters carved by fountain-pen, biro or chunky crayon can be cherished; reread, shared and ultimately treasured.
So go on, indulge your inner soul. Why not transpose all that joy you feel when receiving a letter to someone dear? Someone maybe far away and feeling forgotten, or maybe nearer but in need of some Tender-Letter-Care… Find yourself some paper, an envelope, invest in a stamp (How much..? I know, but a small price to pay, we think) and make someone’s day, even if you are bereft of news, invitations or gratitudes, and are just writing to say… hello, was thinking of you, hoping you are OK… Your words and turns of phrase, in your handwriting, will mean the world to them, and will (re)connect your souls…
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