Thursday, June 4, 2015

Letters from the Heart

I developed a re-fascination with offline written communication a.k.a. snail mail correspondence.  Do you even remember those hand written surprises and treasures that use to appear in your mailbox and you couldn’t wait to open? What happened to that? Email, texts, posts and tweets just seemed to take over those snail mail delights.

How did this re-fascination begin? Well first, I love pretty stationery and sometimes I just can't help myself. When I see it in the store I just can't resist. So I can't just buy it and then not use it; that would be a tad ridiculous, don't you think? LOL

Secondly, I joined a book club at my youngest son's former elementary school. Although he is about to graduate middle school, I continue to participate because it’s a fun experience and I am reading books that might never been exposed to. Although our discussions are focused on the stories we read, they are infused with our own experiences as well. I truly love connecting with people’s stories, understanding their unique perspectives and sharing my own story as well.

Every year we have a culminating luncheon where all the in Queens, New York book clubs, sponsored by the United Federation of Teachers, come together to share our book club experiences and the books we read in the form of a project, presentation or oral account.  My group decided to do a letter theme project since many of the books we read contained letters as part of the story content.

Each member wrote a letter to whomever they wanted - our children, our younger self or in my case, a high school teacher (I’ll share that in a later post).

The letters are emotional and heartfelt, thus giving way to the title, “Letters from the Heart”.

This experience has inspired me to withdraw somewhat from digital communication, embracing handwritten notes and telephone conversations instead of resorting to email, texts and posts on social media. I find this return to yesteryear, for however long it lasts, is my way of relearning and investing in a one-on-one communication with intention, focus and intimacy - qualities somewhat diluted in our digital exchanges.

How do you feel about the way in which we communicate today versus offline methods? When is the last time you wrote or received a handwritten card, letter or note?