Hand written letters are gifts of time!
There is a vestige that is missing – Ink, pen, paper and Handwriting.
When I think of letter writing, I always think of my grandmother because she was a woman who had nice papers. One day when I was a little girl, I remembered I told her that she had pretty papers. She told me that she used them to write to the people that she knew who lived far away from her. But those days I was too young to understand that type of art. And having been grown up, as I write this paragraph, it echoed to my mind the image of when my father was away in the army and I thought that she would also have been sending motherly love letters to my father in the battle field. My questions are: “Who are the people who could or may still be having these letters that she wrote?” “Is my father one of them?” “And does he still hold these letters!” I need to take a journey through this letter writing trails, I want to find the answers.
(Letter is from Rochdale in the United Kingdom and was written by Joshua in 1850)
Letter writing is something that I did when I was a teenager. I had many penfriends around the globe. Those letters were full of emotions, cultures, daily life, families, simple, basic and we used paper, pens, and technology was presumed far from being a demand in this art between friends. We all waited for many months to read what had been going on about each other. Today I have a pile of old letters in my wardrobe back home in my father’s house.
(Post card written by mum and dad to a sweet 2 year old little girl written in 1914)
Some few weeks ago, I happened to have a conversation with the daughter of a friend of mine. Her mum and I worked for the same prestigious holiday resort hotel many years ago when I was in my early twenties and living back home on the islands. She was one of the sweetest lady-friend I ever knew and our friendship was very much inseparable, and she was a good listener. And she told me lots of good things about my grandmother whom I did not get the chance to know her because she passed away long before I was born. Her daughter and I got to talk about letter writings and how exciting it was long ago to have friends around the world and how quickly this friendliest way of life have disappeared and being replace by technology. And she even mentioned to me that it is rare to find writing paper and pot of inks in the shop today and we laughed together about the whole affair pen and paper. A few weeks later I got a surprised letter from the islands through my door, and I realised it was my father’s handwriting on the envelope. I opened the letter and inside there was another envelope together with a note from my father who wrote that this letter is from a very special friend of mine. I opened the letter and trying to think who might have written to me. I was not even thinking it was handwritten. As I opened the letter, there it was, from my friend’s daughter, and she started by telling me how nice it was chatting over the phone and talking about letter writing. So she decided to write to me to tell me how much they think of me. She told me how anxiously her mum wants to see me, she said, before one day she finally close her eyes for the last time, and how much she has missed me since I left the islands. And she told me that she is now retired and not feeling well, she stays home and takes care of her grandchildren. And her letter moved me so much and my imagination went many years back in the days that her mum and I waited for the hotel bus at the same bus stop every morning and all the little gossiping that happened at the hotel and in the village, we shared them together. We laughed together, we sympathise together of things we knew that was sad and every late afternoon when we got down from the hotel bus, we kissed goodbye to each other until we met again the following morning. I felt so sad after reading from her. Her letter reminded me how a written letter can explain the emotions of things that are happening that I did not know of. And that is why today I decided to pen my ideas of letter writing and how much we have lost one of the most important and interesting tradition of all time.
(Post card – “Hampton Court” in the Richmond Borough Upon Thames in England and was written in 1908)
Why did we give up the old traditional habit for the new? Letter writing has disappeared and is the new “mode de vie” ready to embark in love with the slow communication? Is the handwritten letter going to come back ever? That kind of art is either lost and has drifted away from the so called Modern world. It is a vintage know-how of the pen that cultivated our image to someone else.
That school friend who left the town many years ago and the aunt who married and lived on the other side of the world. The grandmother who lived in the country and the cousin who went away and never returned. Remembered those sweet letters that arrived home handwritten on floral writing paper? Those writings were original, they were the thoughts another person, and we knew who wrote the letters. They were pure joys of waiting many months for the postman to arrive.
Should we take a look at our texts and emails, they are not usually well thought. There are many students today who are leaving high schools and colleges without the necessary writing skills to succeed in university or a career. In the modern day living, people are capable of chatting or reading their emails on the go or in coffee shops, and they don’t cease long enough to reflect, whereas letter writing takes time, strive and mirror image and very few takes time to write one.
(Post cards below was written in 1914 – Rue de De Bellain in France – after the war in 1914)
Can this art be reanimated into the fashion modern world? It seems that letter-writing for the modern youth has not even been born yet.
The Ink is missing, the paper is scared of the pen, and the pen is fearing of leaving its mark on the paper – how otherwise could I rather explain. Digital age has conquered the lives of those who were born with traditional values.
(The Post Card Below was written in 1910 by Alf Gage)
And if we believed in our handwriting sent to another person, it was a kind of ambition, a form of dreams that realised the hope in a way that high-tech transmission can never do. We all want to leave our children something of a legacy which is more important than financial entity. Where are all the magnolious preserves of the century? I believe we must give this art of letter writing a new renascence that could overpowered the “text crazed emoticon world” where we cannot be troubled to type full words and using proper grammar, punctuations and paragraphs. After we have left this world one day, no one would troubled their thoughts about the billions of texts we have sent. But a hand written letter will last forever and it could even be passed down from generations to generations.
Postcards were a beautiful way of sending written wishes to friends and families. No one else had your writings, and by the taste of the cards were yours, you were unveiling parts of yourselves to the recipients, and the art of your tastes would live in the memories of your friends and families forever since long ago all those arts were kept in a treasure trunk and was re-read times and times again.
(Cinotaph Postcard – was written in 1921)
Many years ago written letters kept war-separated lovers, missing families and friends connected. Sharing little secret love letters in the school corridors was a beautiful way of letting the boy or the girl in the class knows how much we were in love with each other. Those sensual pretty days have vanished and the youth are too busy outside the classrooms, or anywhere they are, heads down on their technological mobiles chatting and sending emoticons to each other. One day they may look back on the years, they would think of best friends they had, would they even be able to find an old piece of paper with the writing of their friends on it? And it would be then that their heart breaking senses will challenge them. The world of today’s youths maybe a future tradition of regrets and reproach.
I went round the stationery shop some days ago and I bought a fountain pen, I am going to respond to my friend, “Mia” and her daughter a beautiful hand written letter.
The fate of human handwriting is still sombre and chancy and therefore we should never forget the potency of words!
And my sortie through this chapter at my blog today is to convince everyone who have read my words that hand written letters should make a re-bounce- if not for the older generations, but for our youths who have never even started to hand-write a letter.
Thank you for stopping by and having a read!
(Please note – all pictures and writings are the original properties of My Country Epoque)