Friday, September 27, 2013

letter writing

i love receiving letters.

they often say nothing, don’t really describe anything.  i don’t live in victorian england, writing letters back and forth to share the details of our lives away from each other.  the phone is more convenient, easy, expedient.  my sister and i talk a couple times a week.

but every once in a while i receive a postcard or a letter from her in the mail.  simple, whatever she has written always seems to underscore something we discussed earlier, maybe something i missed, reminding me of something important perhaps.  i can read it over and over.  i can stick it in a book and take it with me.

“Someone just asked me if I go crazy here in Charm being by myself all day.  Yes, but no.”

and even emails from old friends.  

the best part about a letter from a friend may be hearing their voice.  written in even the simplest terms, a letter aids my memory.  i can hear their voice exactly.  i received an email from my friend in austin and i can hear her southern twang, her nearly monotone delivery, served with a smile at the end.  her jokes are always in the words and never in the performance, never in the rise and fall of her voice.

What do you think your cat does at night? Have you seen those videos where they strap little cameras to the cat collars? So much carnage....”

i miss her.

and i wonder if i moved from portland who would write me still.  who would send me emails?  who would keep up with me, send me letters to fill me in and maintain all the jokes and turns of phrase that generate inside a relationship?  i appreciate the time it takes to write a letter, to respond and reply and develop a new thread or thought.  i appreciate the punchlines, carefully crafted and thought out because you know you will not be there to explain it to the other person.  i appreciate the talk about the weather, comparing the still hot days of summer in birmingham or austin to the increasing chill here in portland.

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