There was a time when I despised writing letters, though I really enjoyed getting to know people, the process became monotonous and tiresome.
Over the years I’ve written to many people from a variety of ages, and an army of cultures; close friends, family and distant strangers. It seems as if, in an age of minimalist writing, text messaging and social media (with its sometimes limited character use), the art of correspondence has evolved into a collection of short outbursts and requests, it has lost the poetic ebb and flow that was once necessary to entertain and connect.
Language can paint masterpieces!
Letter writing was once the only means to cover long distances, to maintain connections over long periods of time– war, travel, and incarceration; now, it’s so simple to make a call, send a message, or video chat. Technological advancements are incredible; they have connected people, cultures and have made interacting over long distances much more quick and enjoyable, but I believe it has cost us something.
Letter writing was also a means courtship, reading, and rereading, the romantic longings of someone loved, maybe the smell of them on the pages, causing a reaction in your body– a smile, blush or more. Writing used to be a very intimate act, and now it’s an outdated, even foreign concept.
Prison has been the one place that preserved the art form, yet with the advent of e-messaging and phone calls, communications updated and lost a part of what made it special.
The reason I quit enjoying writing letters for a while was because I felt as if the effort of my poetic, yet sometimes long-winded, style was not appreciated.
Who I was… was being lost, because as an art form, letter writing was dying.
One pen pal renewed my vigor, engaging many parts of my being through her letters; though no longer pen pals through circumstances of life, the effects of her correspondence are still felt today.
We should keep certain practices alone, though conventionally unnecessary, they can have mental and social benefits, letter writing is one, it should be preserved, not as a necessity, but at least as an art form.