Monday, 3 December 2012

Write again soon.

Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”  ~ Lord Byron
I received this gorgeous handcrafted letter whilst a mutual friend of the correspondent and myself were settling down to a cup of tea. All of a sudden the scene became something out of Austen; the letter was read aloud and had us all a-flutter; we swapped recent news on the letter writer and remembered her fondly.
I don’t know if my recent shout out for penpals via my Tumblr was borne out of reading too much Pride and Prejudice, or a long-held love of all things analogue. For years I’ve taken and developed film and Polaroid photographs, bashed away at a couple of old typewriters, and more recently, stitched like mad, only for the products of each endeavour to wind up showcased on the internet. I realise the irony in digitising work I’ve taken pains to do the “old fashioned way”, and there is a danger that some of its original charm is lost in translation, but how else to reach a wide audience? 
Letter writing gives me the opportunity to reach out just as far, but in a far more intimate fashion. As one of my penpals observed in her first letter to me, exchanging letters is a wonderful way to get to know someone. A letter may be deliberated over in a way that a text or email never could be, and does seem to go awfully well with tea! (There I go reading too much  Austen again!)
A week or so ago I was having something of a dreadful day and staggered through the front door ready to collapse on to the sofa, when I discovered a letter waiting for me on the front door mat. The fact that someone had taken the time to write to me, and the excitement of not knowing what the letter would contain, instantly raised my spirits (not to mention the generous stash of glittery goodies contained within!) I was so cheered up, in fact, that I got on with a number of creative projects rather than collapsing in a heap.
So go on, pick up the pen and make someone’s day. You might just make a new friend in the process.
It’s to bed with (what else?) Pride and Prejudice for me for now, but I promise to write again soon.
Letter Batch # 2
Letter Batch #2
Letter Batch #2
An embroidered patch I made as a gift to a penpal
Letter Batch #1: A Halloween card
Letter Batch #1: A Halloween card
Halloween envelopes
Sealed with gingham tape

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