If you are on this page, there is a good chance you may have received a letter from me, and some encouragement to reply. It is an old fashioned concept, but a deliberate response to a lost part of our communication. The letter I wrote was to you, it wasn’t a post to a group of “followers” or “friends”, it was to you. Some of the letters I will write will be sharing news, but I hope they will do more.
I am inspired by letters that build relationships. In fact, historically letters that took months of travel maintained relationship between friends and lovers who were separated by miles and long periods of time. Some letters were to leaders of groups of people. Most letters are an attempt to express ideas, feelings, and topics that are often to difficult or out of context for times when we are together. Occasionally, what you can say in a letter is more intimate (emotionally) that can be shared by electronic media.
Here is the beauty of the reply. Yes, I hope I get to receive some and give some. Then we will be correspondents. When replying to a physical letter, you have time. You can reflect, re-write, build the response over time. Perhaps include some physical images or copies of documents. A reply can be of any length, but will tend not to be the impulsive reaction normally delivered to a text message or social media post. You can share yourself, your humour, your heart, your pain, through a reply that only you and I will see.
Letters recognize that you are a person who lives in a place. You have a physical address. Perhaps you are close by and the letters will lead to a visit, and a better conversation. Maybe we will understand each other better, because we will have shared our thoughts with less interruption, less performance and more self-awareness. Even if our letters are not great works of literature, they are a chance to interact without the interruption of algorithms and programs designed to scan our words and seek to sell, influence, and distract us. If you are reading a letter and are confused, you can lay it down, and pick it up later, and it will be where you left it, not lost in a stream of posts and advertisements.
So whether you want to share some humour, reflect on a common concern, get philosophical, share some feelings, or make plans together, one way might be a letter.