“A letter should be regarded not merely as a medium for the communication of intelligence, but also as a work of art.”
As a lover of old letters, I have a special soft spot for the lost art of letter-writing — an art robbed of romance and even basic courtesy in the age of rapid-fire, efficiency-obsessed, typed-with-one-thumb-on-a-tiny-keyboard communication. So I was utterly delighted to discover a rare and remarkable little book titled How To Write Letters.
At once delightfully dated in many of its cultural assumptions — particularly the epistolary norms for the sexes — and charmingly urbane in its practical prescriptions, this tiny treasure tells us as much about the long-lost era of its origin as it does about the standards we’ve chosen, and chosen to leave behind, in our own. Above all, it reminds us that sentiment lives not only in what is being communicated but also in how it is being communicated — an osmosis all the more important today, when cold screens and electronic text have left the written word homogenized and devoid of expressive form.”
(For more of this article and information about the book, click here.)
Today I’m sending a hug out to my friends, one or two in particular. For the one in Europe missing her friends and family, this is for you. You have to get through the hard outer shell to get to the heart of your trip and the fun you’re going to have. For my friend lying on the couch feeling poorly, I send you this. May your recovery be swift and your consolations many. I watch “The Importance of Being Earnest,” when I’m not well, it usually lifts my spirits. For those already away or going away and not feeling so sure, this is also for you. Whether it be an internship in another state or foreign and distant Nederland, I send you this hug and my best wishes that it’s amazing.
“And ofentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.”
I have to hope that this is a poetic untruth from our colourful bard, William Shakespeare. He left behind much speculation upon his death; crimes of poaching, questions of sexuality and of love. I have no such weighty issues to share but wish to apologise to my followers for my fairly limited engagement at present - it’s been a hair tearing out sort of time. Normal service will resume soon and for those that have not received their usual correspondence, know that I am longing for the time to do exactly that.
I adore getting a letter, enjoy the delayed gratification of waiting to read it while I make a cup of tea (yes, tea is right for every occasion), reading it once quickly, then again slowly. I love small things so you can imagine my delight upon discovering a tiny letter, including the wax seal. (If this captivates you, click on the link to see more small things.)
(In response to the post, “Desperately Seeking Something,” on ‘A View From Outside the Box,’ url: adialogue)
~Comment from John, Isle of Skye - the photo is his and so is the stone. He is a most remarkable photographer with the soul of a poet, if you’re very lucky I’ll post some of his amazing photos in the future.
About words, they can’t be unsaid and even with thought and respect for their weight, still the message can get muddled. I’ve always wondered how a jury copes with that, something they hear but then is struck from the court record - you can’t unhear words.
“We corresponded for over 10 years, shared highs and lows, discussed ideas and debated the significant and the mundane, exchanged photos and feelings, experiences, hopes and dreams.”
Yet still, there are people out there in the world right now, meeting for the first time, people having conversations and arguments and each one trying to communicate something. In the chaos and misunderstanding, it’s our desire to do it at all that makes it so beautiful.”
(An unlikely combination of two favourites, scenes from “Firefly” and “Harry Potter,” music by Sloan. According to Sloan, they stole two fan letters written to another band and wrote the song “Pen Pal” as if the two fans were writing to each other.)
Wherein, I attempt to put the world to rights infused with nothing but a strong cup of tea. A text based blog with a rich selection of social commentary, a generous pinch of Skye, plenty of dialogue with a hint of travel, particularly anything that takes one outside the box.