Paper and Pens
Or don’t you like to write letters. I do because it’s such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you’ve done something.
Recently I sent a 52 Weeks of Mail note to an old friend. He was actually a colleague of my first husband’s, and I haven’t seen him in about 28 years. It was the end of the Final Four, and Bruce was and is a big basketball fan, and I always think of him at that time of year. So I just sent a little note, saying that.
I was surprised and delighted to get a note back. With a memory or two that he shared with me, of things I had completely forgotten. And a teensy update on his life, sparing the details.
It was such a lovely thing to receive. And it couldn’t have happened through email or Facebook. Much as I enjoy Facebook, it’s just not the same.
And here’s why: First of all, you get to see some handwriting, which reveals some things and gives you a one-degree-of-separation sense of the person that you don’t get any other way.
And second, and more important, it takes a little time. It takes a little time to write a note and say what you want to say, and it takes a little time to decide what you want to say in return. You’re less likely to be stupid and more likely to be caring.
And third, it’s just nice to have a thing you can hold in your hand. The touch of paper is really nice and sort of comforting, isn’t it?
I love that there are people out there who remember me sometimes, even though we haven’t been in touch in a long, long while. There really is a world wide web, and it isn’t on the internet. It’s a web of friendship, caring, and memory. I’m moved to strengthen that web, just by receiving a one-page note in the mail.
So, I’m thrilled and motivated. The first half of my 52 Weeks of Mail effort was about contacting people who are already in my life but not, usually, on paper. The second half is going to be about finding some old friends and maybe even contacting some strangers I’d like to know. I think paper and pen is a gentle way to do that; it doesn’t demand immediate response and you get to savor it for a long while.
How about you? You should do this too. And I guarantee you, the best way to make sure you actually do it is to go over to the Facebook page and tell the world you’re going to do it. OK? Trust me, you’ll be glad.