The post, the mail, however you name it, this bundle of correspondence comes to our residences six times a week. Or it did. For those of us in the United States, we recently heard the announcement that, due to budget constraints, mail will only be distributed five days a week. That's right, no more Saturday service.
My initial reaction was one of disappointment. "Oh man, I won't be able to check the mail for friend's cards and letters, in a leisurely way on the weekends."
And then I realized... Wait. That doesn't happen now. The leisure or the letters. :)
I have fabulous friends from all over the planet, but how often do I receive a letter or a card? Even more of a stretch when was the last time I sent one? Like not for a birthday or Christmas?
My poor brain cells got quite the workout trying to remember when was the last time I wrote a letter (outside of a card). College! Before email, Facebook, or Twitter were mainstays of long distance correspondence.
So after my dip into melancholy, I pondered - do I really enjoy letters and cards as much as I once did? This query is coming from someone who has dreamed of working for Hallmark, the big time card mecca. I adore all sorts of stationery and cards, but perhaps as much for the art and poetry of them. On minor holidays like Halloween or St. Patrick's Day, I find myself wondering what to do with all the paper greetings left on the mantle once the celebration ends.
I've also discovered (or maybe re-discovered) the excitement and joy that simple texts can elicit. They are so real-time, and I feel more a part of faraway friend's life through the immediate messaging. A heartfelt email, you know the multiple-paragraph kind, gets saved in a significant folder on my laptop. Even silly Facebook messages get a few readings to remember the shared words and shared friendship.
And yet, the beauty of handwritten messages and the return of the craft of hand lettering has brought back an artform almost lost. The act of composing lines on a page for emphasis and clarity is an exercise of care so rarely taken.
Perhaps it depends on the message and the time available to communicate? Or is that just something we offer as a reason in all too busy lives?
Can't wait to hear your thoughts.