Faith / Life Lessons

The Art of Letter Writing

In today’s age of computer texts and email messages, twitter and Facebook, it’s so lovely to  receive a handwritten letter from an old friend.   To open a sealed envelope and hold the paper in your hand, savoring each word slowly, as one would  a precious wine .   Although I love to receive posts, I am probably NOT best known for my timely correspondence.  Being something of a perfectionist, I tend to procrastinate for long periods before responding to a letter.  I’ve been known to wait a year or more.

One of course, must approach such a creative endeavor with the utmost caution:  first, acquiring the appropriate card, card stock, feel, and overall look of the letter head;  second, one must retrieve the elusive desk ruler, which is used alongside the pencil to draw lines on your card, so that you can appear to have the same penmanship as the Founding Fathers;  third, comes the first draft, usually written on a standard ream of paper of approximately  480 sheets;  next, comes the spell check, choosing your writing instrument   —   black or blue, fine point, thin or bold;  and lets not forget afterward, erasing all those lines and choosing the correct sticker to seal the envelope.  As you can see, these things must NOT be rushed.  The art of letter writing is just that:  an Art.


Public Domain
Photo: Karen Arnold

After many months of arduous contemplation, I mustered up the confidence to write back to my faithful friends.  I was charged, with NOT one — but three letters at once.    With all the appropriate resources, I sat down with the resolve of a Spanish Conquistador to accomplish the task of letter writing.  I happen to be a firm believer in creating the right atmosphere, so I set out  to accomplish the perfect mood by turning on some classical music.   As Debussy’s, Claire de Lune glossed the air waves, my pride and austerity melted like hot wax in the fire.   Soon, I found myself writing words straight from the heart.

Like a Chef choosing just the right ingredients for a dish, I mindfully prepared each sentence, seasoning the words to both sweet and savory perfection.    I began to think on the past year with all of  its trials and difficulties, the passing of time and the apparent distance that’s wedged between old friends.  Characters once united by a common plot and story line now writing the chapters of their own independent lives.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the friendships that have stood the test of time.  I am reminded of what is says in Proverbs 18:24:

“Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.”   I used to try to keep friendships alive that were dead.  I just wasn’t always willing to accept that the relationship was over and it was time to move on.    Things change, people change and sometimes when the door closes its fruitless to keep trying to push it open.  However,“There are still some wonderful people left in this world! They are diamonds in the rough, but they’re around! You’ll find them when you fall down– they’re the ones who pick you up, who don’t judge, and you had to fall down to see them! When you get up again, remember who your true friends are!”
― C. JoyBell C.

These are ones that stick around when you fall on hard times. “A best friend is the only one that walks into your life when the world has walked out.”
― Shannon L. Alder

So remember the keepers.  Friendships take work like any relationship, but their worth it.  Even though time and distance may create something of a vacuum, never let true friendships die.

They are a blessing from God.  One way to keep the flame burning is try an old fashion remedy:  the Art of Letter Writing.