September 22, 2013 § 4 Comments
I have spent most of my life drafting letters to loved ones, a habit born of a childhood shuffled between my parents’ homes. I fold pieces of my days into words that travel over time and place to those who are never far from my thoughts.
Last week a new indulgence, whimsical stationery intended to inspire my children to practice letter writing, gifted me a beautiful surprise. Inside the carefully packaged envelope was a sentiment that seemed to encompass my affinity for a handwritten letter; the very essence of my affection eternalized in poetry.
More than kisses, letters mingle souls. – John Donne
The promise of sharing one’s self in lines of thought etched into paper is an intimacy of thought and intention between writer and reader that even time cannot fade. I sometimes wish I could gather old letters to chart my life in language; the block print of early efforts blending into carefully structured cursive that later looped around teenage heartache and then swept more hurriedly into long, sinuous letters.
First loves and cherished friendships, childhood companions and mentors in motherhood; my life is richer for the individuals stretched across my past between letters often lost along the way. So many people measure the value of relationships in finite language, beginnings and endings. I measure love in postmarks that travel across time connecting us to reflections of self and memories shared.