I like silence, or just the sounds of nature, black and white photography, and the beauty of a bird singing it’s evening song. I guess you could say that I like things in their most honest state. Right at this moment I am listening to the crickets chirping or whatever it is that they do. I would miss that sound if I never heard it again, That sound eases me to sleep. Some people need the radio or t.v., I am lulled to sleep by the rhythmic sound of the cricket the master tempo keeper.
There is a certain elegance to simplicity. When I see great design, I respond to it. When I hear an outstanding musical score, it transports me to another place and time. I think it’s a very human trait to want beauty and serenity in our lives. I guess that’s why I just keep on painting, listening to music and designing gardens. I can’t bring myself to devote my whole life to my job. I am not a linear person. Meeting quotas is not what I am cut out to do. Accountants would not be happy with me if they had to quantify my life! I am more like a landscape with a river running through it. I don’t think in blips and sound bytes. I don’t even set an alarm, I don’t own a smartphone and sometimes I just take my reliable old pentex film slr camera out on a photo shoot and choose one lens and that’s it. Just like that I’m out the door on a new adventure. I like the idea that I have either 12, 24, or 36 chances and that is all to get the shot I want. Having a finite amount of chances encourages you to focus. As I said I like simplicity.
Call me sentimental, but I love to get a hand written letter. When I receive the gift of a hand written letter, I feel like the letter writer is right in the room with me. I can sense how they are feeling in the phrasing of their sentences. There is something visceral to a hand written letter. The personality of the writer shows in the construction of the letters. Writing a letter the original way does take longer than just zipping it out on my Mac. Letter writing is not for the swift but for the sojourner. Because of the physical act of writing, I may consider things I might otherwise not have if I was just sending an email. When I place pen to paper it slows down my thought processes. Free floating thoughts bubble up to the surface which I really enjoy. So, if you’re in a hurry, a computer is great, BUT, I don’t want to be in a hurry when I write a letter.
The magic of the hand written letter is it’s ability to jog deep memories. I ask you, how many emails do you remember? Probably just a few. Because we get so many emails, we tend to take them for granted. We as a whole are starting to communicate in sound bytes. I do remember the letters I receive and some I carry with me. I actually remember a letter I received from my best friend when I was eight years old. I was moving away and she was very upset about this. For years I took that letter out and read it hoping to see her again. This letter jogged my memory of our childhood friendship and early experiences that shaped us. I am now fifty-four and still haven’t forgotten that letter or our friendship.
The ability of a person to remember is helped along with the written word. As the words unfold in a letter, memories unwind like a ball of string with many twists and turns along the way. Isn’t that what it is to be human? Computers tend to be linear and logical and humans tend to be unpredictable and tactile. Silly humans, we have this need to connect on an elemental level. Contrary to what many people said in the internet world, newspapers are still going strong. What would our morning coffee be without a newspaper in hand?
I have a collection of pens in many different colors; ball points, fine line markers, gel pens and a fountain pen. I get a big kick out of my many pens and different writing papers. Sometimes I just don’t write a letter, I illustrate it too. Do you? Cheers to The Art of the Hand Written Letter.