There’s a pack of postage stamps somewhere, I saw them last spring while searching for tax receipts. A book of ten glossy peel and stick intentions, tossed with irreverent haste into the chasm of a bottomless drawer. With nothing to mail, all I wanted was to hold the possibility.

Trying to remember the last time a hand written letter arrived at my door-step,  I faced the reality a Christmas card from my sister counted – her decision to pen sentiments meant more than an e-card. At least she bothered to find a stamp.

The more I thought about it, my mind’s eye paraded her distinctive calligraphy to a shoebox on the closet shelf. There it was, resting atop a lifetime of penned treasures, stoically guarding a dusty box of tender expression. Letter after letter passed through my hands, serenaded by  pen strokes’ symphony.

I found myself mourning a future of paperless memories, lives existing in clouds of digital storage. Photographs tossed into online folders, communication lost to inadvertent clicks, sentiment reduced to homogenized fonts. Who has time to paste pictures in albums or walk to a mailbox, technology scoffs at quaintly archaic tasks.

Technology lacks a shoe box, humanity desperately needs a letter. Before it’s too late, each and every one of us needs to write a letter. Absurd as that may sound, it might be the most important gift of all – millions of shoe-boxes depend on it.



21 thoughts on “Letter

  1. How I share your sadness. If ever my house catches fire I would save my shoebox first (after wife and kids)!

    For a while in my past life my friends and I engaged in what is now known as Post Art. For us it was just fun.

    We would write a letter and put the addressee on the back ad if it was the sender.  We would then address the letter to a fictitious person at an fictitious or real address in some far away country.

    The letter would bounce ofcourse and depending on the diligence of the postman the true addressee would receive the letter several months later duly stamped: address unknown, return to sender.

    Mail, I love mail. It’s slow demise is a true loss.

  2. I see there has been at least one notable who is warning that people in this electronic age should PRINT things out because digital images and records are fallible. And without written — printed — records the history of the 21st century may disappear into the ether. We bumble along blithely thinking that what we are doing may have some concreteness but unless it’s WRITTEN down as in WRITING not typing on an electronic keyboard there really isn’t any substance to it at all.
    I keep wanting to get my fountain pen out and start writing — and I really keep putting that off, day by day by day….. sigh.

    • Two summers ago the company I work for orchestrated dinner for a UNESCO World Heritage Conference in Vancouver – 800 delegates from around the world meeting to formulate plans for the preservation of history. It was fascinating to learn the level of current knowledge existing solely in the digital realm. Sobering to realize that a few thousand years from now it might be easier to study ancient civilizations than our modern digitized world.

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