I mourn the letter, especially the literary love letter, as a form of art as well as communication. Reading the correspondences of writers and artists of the past, I envy them, and regret the death of something beautiful. I wrote letters once – found the right paper, the right pen, the right words. In the early days of email, my university days, the old form of communication intersected with the new one. I still wrote letters then, long letters crammed full of drawings and song lyrics and messy handwriting and love. It ended suddenly when two letters I mailed didn’t reach their intended recipient. Mistrust burst out on both sides on what was already messy emotional terrain. The friendship ended. I stopped writing letters then. I took to the digital, and lost the intimate, tangible joy of holding something carefully crafted – one word at a time – by loving hands.
From 100 Words: The Beauty of Brevity. Word prompt: literary.
As do I. After leaving Facebook I’m noticing that not only have literary love letters disappeared, email has also disappeared for many. It’s all one messenger or another. The days of long update emails between friends appear to be coming to the end. I’m sad to see it. Fortunately there are a few who still write now and again or contact with people outside the city would be pretty much gone.
Yes! I’ve been remarking on the same. I used to write long emails that were like letters and get many back. Now, just in the past few years, email also seems to be fading as a primary mode of communication. I think there’s an idea out there that writing is a lesser form of communication, and I get that often difficult conversations should happen in person, but I sometimes question that too. Writing can be a really powerful way to articulate all kinds of things, if you put the time and attention into it. And it lets people fully say what they need to say without being interrupted!
Absolutely! I remember when Sage and I were much younger and less patient and experienced we would often interrupt each other when arguing. Early on we learned to switch to a keyboard and type our thoughts to each other if it was particularly difficult. It worked a treat. Of course as we got older and more patient that became less and less necessary.