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The Lost Art of Letter Writing.
I had tea with a friend this morning and it occurred to me in the car on the way there, (very randomly – as is often the way with me), that I don’t know what her handwriting looks like.
In fact, there are many people in my life whose flowing forms, penned in ink, I could not recognise.
And this really troubles me!
Because there was a time, not so very long ago, when we wrote..!
Letters, lists, love notes, poems, postcards, birthday cards…
I still remember the difference between my Mother’s fat, juicy soft letters, compared with my husband Mike’s childlike scrawl. I remember the handwriting of my Aunties who still send Christmas cards across the World once a year.
I received a ‘couples questionnaire’ back from a Groom a few weeks ago and he had taken the time to hand write the whole thing. And I marvelled at his handwriting! It was absolutely beautiful! It was such a pleasure to see the care he had crafted into the work. The love he has for his fiancé shone through the page – I could literally see his affection for her on the page – the time it took was worth his effort. SHE is worth the effort. I found it beautifully romantic.
And the fact that we’ve stopped and swapped our writing in favour of a keyboard, phone and tiny smart screen, sends me into a wave of sadness.
It doesn’t feel very ‘smart’ to me.
Writing is a lost art. A dying tradition.
And I for one will be sad to see it become extinct.
My Nana and Grandad on my Mother’s side were pen pals in the Second World War. My Grandad ‘wooed’ my Nana by putting pen to paper, and that time evokes a romantic nostalgia of lovers courting and living in suspense of that next letter. That next bit of news. Those written promises, penned with such care and vulnerability; like fragile ornaments, balancing precariously on a shelf.
And when we physically hold a pen and write, (if you ever journal, you’ll know what I’m talking about), you can literally feel the words. You embody what it is you’re trying to say.
So how do we take it back? This ancient tradition that encapsulates our feelings and emotions at the time, and captures them in written word?
Try handwriting a love letter to someone. Be it your fiancé, (or your dog)! Whoever it is, buy a beautiful piece of paper and use a nice pen.
Write your vows by hand and feel the words as you write them.
Make or buy a beautiful little greetings card and write one for a friend – just to say you love them.
Start a journal! Even if you don’t know what to write, how about writing just that?! “I don’t know what to write. But I am starting anyway”…
Notice how it feels to put pen to paper. And perhaps the words will come like water trickling out of an icy tap, just needing time to warm up!
Let’s start a new trend where writing comes back into our lives!
And if you’re reading this and you don’t know your own handwriting anymore – Well, it’s time to sort that sh*t out and get back to practicing your signature a hundred times over like you did when you were a kid!
(OK, I might be showing my age with that one)!
Wednesday 27th January 2021 I 8.11pm I Sally L. Perkins