01 December 2012

Away with words

"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company".  Such an insightful expression was penned by British poet, George Gordon Byron, a.k.a. Lord Byron (1788 - 1824).  Where’s it gone, that art of writing a letter; is it a lost art do you think?
An early introduction to writing our first personal messages was often via a parental prompt to write a thank-you note to relatives who’d gifted us on our birthdays.  Sometimes in our childhood years or beyond,  remember pen-friends?  
Swan ink; it was a striking cobalt-blue ink I remember from my primary school-years, with a unique, subtle and lingering scent when opening the bottle.  Nibbed pens and ink-wells got us started with ‘running-writing’.  How about slope-cards; remember those?  And the adage to perfect each letter with a light up-stroke, and then a heavy down-stroke.  I’m slipping back pretty much fifty-seven years now, and that's scarey?!  A year or two later we were allowed to start using biros, and gone were the days of ink-smudged fingers and  exercise book pages.  Oh, and blotters too.
Over the years, it was part of a delightful expectation, when in receipt of a personal letter, to decipher the hand-writing first up, and decide who’d written us, before actually opening the envelope. 
Thank heavens I say for the typewriter, then the computer/keyboard, and being able then to tap words out so readily.  So much more can be said when not threatened with hand cramps. 
Emails slowly but surely replaced many of those letters of correspondence from our past.  Essentially, it makes little difference that one has over-ridden the other.  The fact that we continue to write, be it now in a differing format, is the up side, don't you think?
Social media now, has pretty much soared over the top of, and long surpassed all correspondences of yester-year.  With expediency at the top of the list, it can hardly be argued that it fulfills its purpose.

While the art of letter-writing may have faded, the art of keeping in touch via the written word is still alive and will always remain high priority to so many.

Yours in friendship,


Jeanne said...

Great post Carole, and also might i add to this that now, in many cases, texting is beginning to foreshadow talking to those that we know

Red Nomad OZ said...

SUPER quote - but it's actually also true of blogging, isn't it? The only difference is the response is more immediate!

But for me, nothing will replace the sense of anticipation a letter brings!

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

letters are wonderful things. i send them all the time. sadly my list of folks to send them to has gotten so short. i keep the faith that i will find others who need a letter or two. we will see. fingers crossed. ( :

TexWisGirl said...

when my mother passed, i really stopped sending regular letters. if i send christmas cards, that is something these days.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Wonderfully written Carole. I often think of how a handwritten letter is a very rare item these days. Not too long back I recall us receiving the first Christmas card greeting with the sender's name imprinted on the card, nothing at all hand written. So impersonal, why bother? My grandmother was a prolific letter writer and she left me with that deep appreciation for the hand written letter or card.

Anonymous said...

So well expressed Carole. With arthritis in my hands very few letters would be written by me now.
We do make a trade-off though. Nothing quite equals the thrill of receiving an actual, written letter that arrives in the mail box.

Judy said...

Hear ye!! Hear ye!!
One of the other bloggers that I visit has suggested exchanging Christmas cards, and I am loving that idea. Later today, I will make a post with my email address, so people can send me their snail mail addresses, and we can exchange cards. I have even proposed that we do a family portrait, but we shall see how that goes...

Montanagirl said...

Nice post. I think texting is taking over the spoken word as well!

Brian King said...

When I was a kid, I used to exchange letters with my grandparents on a regular basis. Later, when I was in the military stationed in Saudi Arabia and South Korea, I loved getting mail! We didn't have access to computers and there were no cell phones, so letters were still the way to keep in touch. I kinda miss those days.

Roy Norris said...

Well written Carole.
Yes unfortunately, I remember those nib pens with the black nibs and wooden bodies and the ink wells.{:))

Dianne said...

A light up-stroke and a heavy down-stroke!! and I still write like that.
I loved the era when we pondered over who that special hand written letter was from but saying that I send all my letters via e-mail now-a-days. Some-thing nice about sitting at my desk tap-tapping away at the computer.

Jan Castle said...

Love the computer...so much faster when writing a note - especially when I can send the 'news' to many people with one key stroke! Also, helps hurting hands! Then of course Carole....there are hand made cards to be sent...remember those - I still love to make them!!!
Paper Hugs,

Sharyl said...

I admit I love handwritten letters too, but also agree that the message is more important to me than the medium. Without electronic communication I would not have met you, and that would have been such a loss! So glad we can keep in touch this way AND I get to see your oh-so-beautiful photos!