Sunday, August 8, 2010
The written word ....
I love to write letters. Yes, the computer does 'get there quicker' and in today's cyber world I guess that is important when you need to get a message off in a hurry; however (for me) there is nothing like going to the mailbox and receiving a card or letter with perhaps a photograph tucked inside; and then opening those folded papers to reveal the written word.
When scouring antique shops, flea~market malls and yes, even the local yard sale ~ I get so excited when I see a box of old letters. I can't get my hands on them fast enough. One time I was fortunate to find a small tattered box ~ with about a dozen letters tucked inside and a few photographs of 'unknown' people! What was even more thrilling was that about seven of those letters had been closed with sealing wax!
Their penmanship was elegant and the written words seemed to flourish with a style so personal that I almost felt as though I was invading their privacy. The handwriting was very expressive ~ the paper sensuous and you could be certain the person who wrote it ~ loved words!
Their desks were also a work of art. They were filled with beautiful handmade paper; jars of sepia ink; wooden letter boxes; leather bound dictionaries; pewter and rosewood letter openers; and numerous stamps to seal those envelopes.
Old letters not only tell the stories of past generations but the stamps and postmarks are just as revealing and intriguing.
Queen Victoria wrote to her beloved Albert; Colette (one of France's famous female writers); and of course the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen; and one of my favorite 20th century (true) letter writing story is by Helene Hanff in the books and movie '84 Charing Cross Road'.
What a legacy for your family. How beautiful to send and receive letters that pass along the day-to-day stories of our lives ... in the written word.
Have a lovely day!