Today’s assignment is to reinvent the letter. May I ask what you mean? What is a letter other than a consonant or vowel used to make words? If you are referring to the archaic communication method of using a pen or pencil, paper, envelope and stamps to share my thoughts and feelings with another person in another location, I need to inform you that letter writing is a long-lost art. Today’s emotions, news, achievements, worries, love etc are shared via electronic media. Cell phones, Twitter, Instagram, E-mail, Facebook, WordPress there are so many ways that modern people share their lives. Lives are now on public display. It is old-fashioned thinking to consider a letter. Why would anyone want to share private thoughts, concerns and emotions with just another person? Why would anyone want to hold in his/her hand a piece of paper which shows someone else took time out of his/her busy schedule to put words to paper?
Of course I am being sarcastic but unfortunately, what I wrote is much too true for today’s generation. Communication is quick and efficient but not necessarily heartfelt. There are too many shortcuts, abbreviations and a real lack of time spent thinking about what they are writing. Words and thoughts are shared that will remain in cyberspace forever but most likely will not be remembered by anyone.
A real letter, words put to paper or card, share emotion in so many ways. Is there a hint of scent that reminds you of home? Of a lover? Of a friend? is the penmanship steady or does it show signs of age or worry or impatience? Is it descriptive, full of colorful words or does the writer choose simple words that feel as though the writer is holding back? How many times do you hold the letter? Smell the letter? Reread the letter? Save the letter?
I have a box of letter and cards that my ex-husband and I wrote when we were dating. While my marriage suffered an untimely death when my ex decided he had for 30 years a foot out the door. I have those letters and cards which speak of hopes, dreams and love. They are there for my children and any future generations to read, to hold, to smell and to get to know us 100 years from now.