Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Written Word

I love handwriting; the flow of pen across colorful stationery or at the bottom of a sentimental greeting card. From the beginning of time it was our way of communicating, of reaching out to another heart with words of inspiration, encouragement and love.

My paternal grandmother wrote with a backwards slant, her words hovering low at the bottom of holiday messages in thick, blue ink; her left-handed, unique cursive writing. Mother's letters are written, always, with a black, fine point pen; her penmanship graceful and filled with words of beauty and hope. My brother, Keith, mimics my dad's handwriting with capital block letters that speak of strength and goodness while Wayne, my oldest brother, writes in a creative flourish of energy. Each of my sisters, Kathie and Julie, have similarities in their writing yet spotlight their own differences in unique ways. My children add drawings as their penmanship changes from year to year along with the rest of them, and my husband's lovely words always bring a quickening to my heart.

Penmanship, though still taught as part of the elementary curriculum, falls away in high school as papers are tapped out on compact keyboards. Computerized fonts have replaced the proud, scripted lettering of days gone by. Even our mail has changed. In an age where emails knock at our online mailboxes, a hand-written letter in a stamped envelope is a rarity; a treasure amongst the bills and advertisements.

I miss the flow of ink on paper; the beautiful loops of cursive "J's" and "L's" upon crisp, lovely sheets with monograms at the top and a spray of posies across the bottom. A letter is not just news, but the personal touch of time spent with pen in hand as a loved one contemplates, reflects, shares.

So as the weekend approaches and we begin shifting down from the fast lane, I pen this letter, sending it out into the world for you, my dear friends:


clew said...

This post almost brought a tear to my eye! While I love the speedy exchange that email, IM, and blogging provide, I often miss the experience of receiving handwritten letters the way I used to. I still have a few friends with which I keep the dying tradition of handwritten correspondence alive.

It's a rare and savored treat to receive an old fashioned, penned note. Thank you for yours! XOXO

Macromoments said...

Lori, what a precious post. I miss paper letters for that very reason--the flow of handwriting across paper, and how we can tuck the envelope away to read again later.

I bought a set of pretty lidded boxes, and they're stuffed with family letters dating back to the 1940s when my parents were newlyweds. They're one of my favorite treasures.

I love the theme of your post, and the sweet spirit behind it. Bless you.

Gleyes said...

Lori - Some of my most prized possessions are journals between my children and me, letters between us, notes, postcards, and things they wrote when they were small. There's something eternal about words on a page...

I loved your letter. You have such a way. I think the Lord brought you into my life because He knows my tendency toward melancholy and He knows you bring me sunshine on my often cloudy days. I am so blessed to have found you.....though we have never met face to face, I love you dearly. You bring me joy.