Posted by PJBraley on September 7, 2016


Even as I write this, I miss the scratching of the pen over paper – the inner joy of the perfect hang of the ‘g’ or ‘y’ when the tail of the letter curves gently upward, then, at the last moment, back again…looking almost like a piece of art.

I miss seeing the handwriting of an old friend or lover in my mailbox, the scent of ‘good’ paper stock, the varied hues of ink – blue, black or the blue/black that is oh, so correct, but also so hard to find.  I once found a pen with French blue ink, and regretted instantly that I had no one to share its lovely color with – no one to write who would appreciate the shade of its uniqueness.

I miss carrying a letter with me like a secret that only I can see – that can be taken out and read anywhere, anytime – a quiet, solitary pleasure.

I miss seeing my name written out by a hand that loves me, like a whisper on the page.  No typeface or font can always express my emotions.  Not ALL CAPS or italics can effectively convey my meaning as well as the emphasis delivered by a pen held in my own fingers.

Oh, my friend, I know the advantages of email in our society.  It has replaced the ubiquitous office “memo” and missed telephone calls.  Its efficiency cannot be denied in sending the same information to many people at once so there is no misunderstanding the message.  Yes, I willingly acknowledge its uses in business and limited social interactions.

However, in an age where everything can be shared at the click of a key, where is the privacy?  The intimacy?  It is a too short span of time from me to you to everyone we know, and then to strangers.  Whether accidental or deliberate, the probability of indiscriminate broadcast always exists in electronic messaging.

I prefer letters written by lamplight or sunlight – not backlight – a true correspondence of two minds.   Thoughtful, anticipated with joy and love, words that leap from one heart to another from the handwritten page.

Because you cannot access my letters in any other fashion, I have assented to the restrictions placed on our correspondence, but how wonderful, how very dear it would be to hold something you recently held, to feel your spirit and our friendship written in words by your own hand would be a treasure to me.

Even as my fingers tippy-type over my keyboard keys bemoaning the loss of truly ‘personal correspondence,’ I am not unaware that I am acquiescing to the technology I abhor, but my friend, neither am I unaware of what I have surrendered – and what we have both lost.

I know you will hold these words in your heart, no matter how they are conveyed, some truths cannot be denied regardless of their form.

I imagine you…