Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Missive's Message

I think I can safely say 2/3 of my waking hours are spent on correspondence of some sort--I correspond constantly for work and leisure, learning and pleasure. I often forget how much time in the past was dedicated to the art of correspondence. In the days when there were not even telephones a large portion of the day was spent writing to friends and family too far away (only a few miles could take hours to travel to and from) to visit regularly. The now often empty dining room at one time used to be a place someone could write letters.

I rarely pen a note much less a real letter, but I still treasure them. I remember when I was little and I spent the night with my then best friend we would sometimes create stationary using whatever art and craft tools we happened to own--I am positive that some of that stationary is lovingly packed away in some box of mine. A few years back one holiday season during college I made sets of computer generated personalized stationary for my friends and another time I created stationary as graduation gifts for other friends.

When I returned home from college--using some of the stationary friends had given me as gifts through the years knowing my love of stationary--I tried to remain connected to the friends who were more like family than friends during which we shared nearly every dinner together for four years (and much of our time away from studying) by writing them letters. As convenient as email, phones and the like are, there is nothing as personal and heartfelt as a handwritten note, card or letter, nor such a testament of the sender's regard for the person receiving such a missive. Some of the letters I wrote remain in my possession never sent, waiting to be opened by those they are addressed to...little time capsules that once I find again I will send off along with new words of greeting to old friends.

This week I received a lovely thank you note from my college friend whose marriage I had attended just last month and I realized that I should have been the one writing a thank you. Her handmade and handwritten note reminded me of the value and importance of such correspondence and also what our friendship meant to me during college and how much I still value it. Years may have passed, but suddenly I remember who we all used to be, how we lingered over our meals long after the dining hall had emptied of all others and how special a time it was....

I think of these entries a little like those letters only the recipient is you, dear reader, and perhaps my future self when I need a little memory jog.

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