Saturday, March 03, 2007

Rediscovering the Lost Art of Letter-Writing

“Like women talking over the back fence, the telephone, the breakfast plates, or the business lunch, women’s letters rarely just exchange information. Instead, they tell stories; they tell secrets; they shout and scold, bitch and soothe, whisper and worry, console and advise, gossip and argue, compete and compare. And along the way, they – usually without meaning to – write history.”

Women’s Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present, by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler

Rediscovering the Lost Art of Letter-Writing
by Melodye Shore
Last month, I discovered a treasure in my mailbox, buried deep in a stack of junk mail and bills. It came in an envelope so battered and smudged that I instinctively started to toss it. Fortunately and just in time, I recognized the nearly-illegible handwriting of my friend, Posy. It was a thank-you note for the lunch we’d shared the previous week!

Posy’s irregular and sometimes indecipherable scrawl bore testimony to the fact that she’d struggled against shaky hands and failing eyesight to write me. Still, her cheerful words brought me even closer to my dear friend and distanced me, if only for a short while, from the chaos of my pre-holiday preparations. More relaxing than a weekend retreat at the Montage Resort and Spa, and more valuable than a jeweled necklace, her handwritten letter soothed my spirit and spoke directly to my heart.

Like most over-busy Divas, I’ve learned to scan and scroll quickly through my online messages and mail, one hand poised on the Delete key, while the other hovers over the trash. But handwritten letters? They’re always keepers – carefully bound with satin ribbons or tucked into a scrapbook so they can be savored at leisure, and repeatedly.

Sadly, soon after writing that letter, Posy died. Even so, her letter lives on, serving as inspiration for one of my New Year’s resolutions. In 2007, I’m going to add a touch more civility and give more of myself (and my time) in my personal communications. I want to rediscover the lost art of letter-writing.

To read more, check out Melodye's article on SisterDivas Magazine!

No comments: