Monday, July 25, 2011

The Art of the Handwritten Letter

As written by Ann :)

Kelly has been asking me for over a month to write a contribution on such a subject matter. My thoughts come from a passion deep within my heart, and thus I think this is what has drawn her to ask me to be “featured” on her blog; that, and her kindness, which runs as deep as her loving spirit and enthusiasm over anyone’s passion. So, here goes…

Why a “handwritten” letter? Technology has brought us so very far. Instantly we can communicate via internet and such the like. Spelling, as I have seen on facebook and email, does not really matter…the “close enough” theory seems to adapt well in such circumstances. Instant, immediate, spontaneous chattering…as long as it is brief, quick, and speedy to reach the “one” or many…it has become our way of life…and possibly…expectation. But a handwritten letter, done with fervency of my heart, is completely opposite of the descriptive words fore mentioned. It involves pondering, practice, penmanship, a dictionary, a thesaurus, compassion, and joy!

In my case, the following are essential for the handwritten letter; “special paper,” a fountain pen, and a beautiful ink. The passion for the letter encompasses an emotion to the receiver, an excitement over the thought of them loving the aspect of the note, the craze of the intentional selection of the feel of the stationery, and the zeal within the letter writer’s soul to explain the tender thoughts that lie within and the challenge to properly convey that message to the recipient.
Can the handwritten letter bring comfort, joy, kindness, enthusiasm? Can the note reveal a humble spirit but bring eloquence bestowed from the sender to the intended? I have found all to be true over the years, as I have made many first and second drafts to many notes and received a multitude that have brought life to my spirit and comforted me in many ways… I have saved numerous such treasures.

Framed is a note from my eldest daughter with an attached etching from my first grandson. Packed away in the attic is a humorous four page letter from my mother to me, scripted in the 1980’s when she and my father explored the region of Peru South America as she colorfully described their travels. A saved treasured letter from a lady I had never met is still in my possession. She lived in Tennessee and I had first written to her when I was eleven or twelve years old about goats. Goats?...what about goats? Well, that is another story for another day, but it is the paper she wrote on, the shaky hand that penned the words, the time she took to write to a young girl (a child, really) whom she never met and share the information I had requested in those young years of my life. I still enjoy today, re reading that which was saved from many years past.

The handwritten letter begins with a passion. It is a readiness to convey a thought, an emotion, an expression of the soul to the intended family member, friend, or in some cases, the perfect stranger. Words are powerful and can influence a mood or outcome of any situation. Letter writing has become my gift. I believe it was developed by my mother’s insistence to always respond in thankfulness by a handwritten note. My love for writing was encouraged by my father as he worked diligently with me in junior high to excel in composition class, by leading me to understand the importance of “rough drafts” and chosen and selected words. Here was my introduction to a thesaurus and a reminder…that I am spelling-ly challenged and hence, a dictionary is always a wise companion.

So, I end with the thought of passion…love for words and how they can be used for goodness. Ponder… think how you can increase someone’s joy just by pondering on some well thought upon words to encourage and delight their spirit! Savor the thought of the thoughtfulness of those words as you meditate and heart fully think of the one you are writing to. Seek out some “new” words to use in your letter writing. Finally, fast forward in your mind about five months…December is almost around the corner! Doesn’t your heart just skip a beat thinking about the mail…at Christmas time? The only month when cards and letters seem to outnumber the statements that meet you daily! Ha! You and I have the power thru the handwritten letter to produce that same excitement to others during the entire year! Until we meet again…God Bless.

1 comment:

  1. Ann, what a beautiful post!!! Your words are so thought-provoking and hits straight home to my heart. You are so right about Christmas being right around the corner and how I thoroughly enjoy receiving photos+letters (whether it's type-written or handwritten) they mean the world to me...I just wished more people (and I should heed this advice too) would take the time to jot a few words on them bec. I receive far more blank cards, photos-so impersonal. I know it's the thought that counts but I agree with you...a message sent through the mail can bring such sweetness to someone's heart and your post has truly inspired me to restart this simple way of bringing happiness to someone's world. Thank you for this beautiful reminder! Jo;)