After nearly 12 years, she still sends me lovely notes on paper. The kind of note I keep, stash with the other years of notes, memories, signatures, change of addresses, friendship.
In a time of electronic cards, emails, text message, and many things digital messaging, I suppose I’m still a fan of the occasional handwritten note, letter, card. In a conversation earlier this year with high school seniors, many of them also expressed their love for the handwritten, for pictures, notes, letters they can hold in their hand, smell, savor, read over and over again. They admitted to keeping “pen pals” and returning to writing letters and notes to send greetings and pictures just to have a different communication experience. These students surprised and inspired me as they expressed an appreciation for moments that are “low tech”, and “high touch”, less about instant, anonymous, casual communication, but more about deliberate, thoughtful, human-centered rituals in communication and writing. These students were looking for a balance.
Of course there are creatively endless ways to communicate using our technologies and devices, but there is something multi-sensory about the experience of writing a letter, a note, and then mailing it. It seems that same multi-sensory experience is ignited when mail arrives and it’s not a catalogue or a utility bill, but a handwritten note from a loved one or a friend, a note that traveled a long or short distance, with its own narrative of how it arrived.
What do you think? Do you occasionally hand write letters, notes, or cards, send them by mail, or slip them in the hand of a loved one or friend? Do you still receive handwritten notes?