A letter. Hand-written on a piece of paper, folded and put into an envelope, consigned to the posts where it will be put into a bin or a canvas bag with others, destination overseas.
A hand-written letter. Surely not from yesterday. Too old-fashioned. Too time consuming. Taking too long to arrive. Too everything.
Still, I long now for a hand-written letter. In a script that makes my heart skip a beat. For I cannot help but agree with Edmund Morris that hand-written words mean more the more they are read, and that time only increases their first force.
Appearing on the computer screen the words are akin to those once spoken, cancelled all too easily, forgotten.
I still long for a hand-written letter. Like the one that years ago landed in my mailbox, even though by now the writer has long left this world. Like Poe’s raven, the words nevermore ring in the air.
That last letter, dog-eared and tattered, bears the touch of hands that once caressed my skin. The looping of the letters, of the “g” and “y”, betray an attention to appearances, to beauty. The capital letters make statements of their own.
That letter, in a small packet with its companions, haunts me at night, when lying in the dark I can still hear a voice I shall never forget coming through the ether as I lift the receiver, identifying the caller, asking for me.
4 thoughts on “A Letter”
I also keep letters, many written to me by my mother. The handwriting is precious. Thank you Erika! James II
Erika And the ink fades, but the email vanishes… ❤️ J
Sent from my iPhone
Quite right. But the ink is jealously guarded like a treasure. Do emails really vanish? Or could we find them again if we knew how to look? The touch would be missing though.
As someone who was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer generation, the last on the block to (sort of) learn to use a cell phone (and only then because her job depended on it), I find myself especially moved by this post.
In my book, Letters to Men of Letters, I write, “After all, what is a letter, if not the attempt to bridge the gap between a certain “here” and elsewhere—a way of encapsulating and holding in one’s hand something that has been in both places? A way of marking and capturing lost time?” This feels in harmony with what you have written. But to hear you recite your thoughts here adds a whole other dimension. Complimenti!
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