Wednesday, July 26, 2006

For the Love of a Letter

I'm sure many people remember not so long ago before email and websites when people wrote each other letters. Growing up I was never fond of writing letters. I thought my penmanship was awful. I still don't think it is very good. I have to wonder why truly beautiful and elegant penmanship is not something taught and sought after more, but I digress. I find it interesting how much I enjoy waiting for the mail. I usually forget to get it and James usually ends up doing so, but still. I enjoy looking through the mail and get excited when I receive something. Unfortunately, as no one writes me letters, my hope can only be satiated by a few catalogues and ads (based on their mailings, Lenox must think I worship them). There is something exciting and romantic in receiving letters from friends, acquantences, etc.
But perhaps it is not simply letters. Perhaps it is that anticipation in waiting that makes anything one waits so anxiously for so exhiting and satisfying. My computer has been slowly dying over the past 6 months. Each time it messes up or my screen turns pink or my F key fails to print an F I look forward to a new computer. I figure by the time I get it I will be so happy to have keys that work and a screen that is white they wait will be well worth it.
Perhaps that is a major setback of modern progress. Everything now is so immediate - emails, overnight shipping, cell phone calls, etc. - that it becomes difficult for our natural human desires to fully appreciate the fulfillment of them.
It is a shame we cannot start Letter Circles where people could simply write letters to each other, chit chatting, but simply to experience the joy of receiving a letter in elegant handwriting. (Of course, in my case, once I get down the elegant handwriting part.)
This leads me to another question: Has the speed and immediacy of our current society made us less impatient people in general? I simply look at the way people drive or shop at Christmas or eat and would have to say yes. It makes me wonder how people might be different if we relaxed a bit more and rushed a bit less.

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