Thursday, 12 January 2012

Letters from Home





No, not a post about Sylvia Plath. But a post about where I write. Or rather one of my places.

This is my desk, it is quite compact, not a large surface area. Which considering the size of my handwriting can sometimes be a challenge. This is the long-hand writing surface. The land of pen and ink, or rather pen and cartridge, no computers allowed. This is where I write my formal letters and where I write on tomes of paper and cross out words with vigorous lines of dark coloured ink.

The slots are filled with envelopes, postcards and small items of beauty, hidden from the eye but not the mind. I know where each and every lovely card is stored waiting for the appropriate message or recipient. I sit here to write the postcards I send to my children at University. Small surfaces , maximum number of words' so they know I am thinking of them without overwhelming them with pages of  script that will remain unread. I remember receiving letters from my mother when at university. Always so welcome when going to the post table in halls and finding an envelope for you. My mother kept some of the letters I wrote home, now when re- reading them I do not recognise the person within, sometimes I do not remember believing so passionately in things I so clearly did. They mean so much more than a 'Like' on a facebook page.

The aspect I do recognise in letters from the past, is the handwriting. A person's personality and voice can with conjured up with their cursive script. The dot or teenage circle above the i. The loop of a y, the flourish of a kiss x. The typeface of qwerty does not convey the tone, the personality, in quite the same way.
Here , I also write my 'Thank You' letters. A subject that it is probably best not to start on. But suffice to say, delightful to receive and a little' thank you' goes a long way to being remembered with affection in the future. Carefully chosen words are received with special attention.

This desk , which belonged in my grandmother's house is sometimes appropriated by my daughter. I find this comforting.

It already bears childish marks from one of my sons.  But let me tell you a secret, darling boy, I know, and as I know you will not read this now, I hope you will one day find this on line; I forgive you. I will not actually ever try to remove your script, I understand that you wanted to make your mark. So now it is always there for me to see.The desk itself is not valuable only in a sentimental sense. To me , it is more valued that it is used and that you chose this surface to say ' hello'. The words you write now are more fluid and written with such style and delivery that I wish you well in the future, for I am sure words and writing will always be important to you and may even be your career path. Sometimes as parents we need to choose the battlefields. On this occasion there is no war to start.

So pen and ink, paper and envelope, stamps clasped in a ducks beak. All traditional ways of communicating in a modern world. But the mix is a good one. Each has its time and place.

Computers and blogging, writing and thinking . A stationary object full of stationery.

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