Our correspondences… our intimacies

While I was doing some Spring Webcleaning a year ago, I coincidentally received a phone call from Nick Bantock about my long-moribund fan pages on his Griffin & Sabine trilogy. As I subsequently cleaned up the link rot in Where in the World are Griffin & Sabine?, I was briefly re-immersed in the tactile pleasures of the letters-in-envelopes motif that made the trilogy such a novelty.

It would be nice if I could say the experience inspired me to start writing cards and letters again myself. After all, the more obvious ingredients were just a chair’s turn away — fountain pens, bottles of ink, paper and notecards and postcards, stamps. But alas force of will was in short supply. Even being the lucky recipient of a couple of items during InCoWriMo back in March was barely a blip on my writing radar.

Then, two weeks ago, a blog post on The Well-Appointed Desk had this quote from Phyllis Theroux:

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.

That immediately reminded me of this quote from Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, which I had used at the top of the landing page for Where in the World are Griffin & Sabine?

Our correspondences show us where our intimacies lie. There is something very sensual about a letter. The physical papercranecontact of pen to paper, the time set aside to focus thoughts, the folding of the paper into the envelope, licking it closed, addressing it, a chosen stamp, and then the release of the letter to the mailbox — are all acts of tenderness.

And it doesn’t stop there. Our correspondences have wings — paper birds that fly from my house to yours — flocks of ideas crisscrossing the country. Once opened, a connection is made. We are not alone in the world.

I still don’t have pen and notecard in hand, but at least now I remember what I’m missing.

This entry was posted in Art | Design, Pens | Ink | Paper, Technology, Words and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our correspondences… our intimacies

  1. You lucky duck. There’s a letter on its way to you from meeeee! 🙂

  2. Tom Berend says:

    It is clear that you love the tools of writing. Here’s a wonderful resource for the mechanics of writing: http://www.realspelling.fr/Welcome_to_Real_Spelling/Real_Script.html

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