The Value of a Handwritten Letter

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This month’s journal. Is about journaling and writing. letters. Believe it or not, the. two are linked. Several years ago, I wrote about. un-sent letters (2017), the letters that were  handwritten but never delivered. The topic never really left me. Two weeks ago, I watched a fascinating interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin, a historian I greatly admire. She was speaking about her books and the research she conducted. She happened to mention letters written back and forth from soldiers to their families during the Civil War.

I began to wonder, if 1) did anyone write letters anymore and 2)  if anyone was saving. them. This virus is bound to be cured one day and what will our future selves look back on?

Writing to someone takes time. You have to find paper, a pen, an envelope and buy a postage stamp. Oh, and finally go to the post office. Something very important happens even before your letter gets opened. Your recipient reaches the undeniable fact, that you care about them, that they are important to you.

Letters can be touched. E-mails can. he read, saved or deleted. A letter can be unopened time and again and either displayed or put in a drawer.

Taking the time to write a letter is an example of mindfulness. You don’t have to worry about your internet slowing down, you can just write in the present.

Now, not all letters are “peaches  and cream”. Like the letters I mentioned earlier, if written during this viirus, you can bring emotional healing to both your recipient and yourself. In journaling, when we write about our feelings, we write slowly and methodically -taking one problem at a time.

Think about this: you write a letter to your sister who’s in a different state. You tell her about the .death of a neighbour or someone in your town. You write about food prices or shortages (I couldn’t find rice or anything pork for months!). You discover, when you read her letters to you, that your fears are her fears. Maybe she’s found an old recipe that your Mom used to make a family favorite during the Depression.

Writing letters may be a lost art, but I think we journalers are bringing it back one letter at a time.

~Sallie

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. P Cole
    Sep 10, 2020 @ 13:39:35

    Handwritten letters are very special and they outlast time. I grew up writing letters and sending cards and postcards (there was no email, texting, etc.) That was an enjoyment for me, and I also liked receiving letters and cards. Today’s younger generation is missing out on such a special and meaningful thing to do. Thanks for writing about this topic and a cherished pastime. Perhaps, Mike, Slim, Jess, and Daisy will write a letter or two in a future chapter. (What do you Think?) Be well and stay safe. Happy Writing! 

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