Monday, April 11, 2011

The Art and Expression of a Letter

I have recently started to write letters, you know the kind that are hand written on paper, stick in an envelop and entrust to the mail man. (Though I am starting to doubt his competency.) When I drop a letter into the mailbox I feel this exploding excitement and suspense!

Here are the reasons why I love a letter

1. They are a form of art
2. They are personal
3. No instant gratification...the suspense is like waiting for Christmas all December    
4. They give a feeling of love to the reader, well at least this is how I experience it.

Letters have Personality. I mean just look at that thing.
They are not the uniform type on a screen that we all receive multiple times a day. It is that person putting themselves on paper. They express their feelings through the way their handwriting is thrown out there or thoughtfully and carefully laid to rest on the page.

A letter can hold a physical picture to hold. They can also be livened up with drawings, stickers, or anything you want. That is WAY more interesting than any email you could ever get. You can express yourself with so many more mediums, why limit yourself to type font, emoticons, and attachments?

Also, I always feel much more connected to the person I get a letter from. They touched that letter with their hands and their thoughts physically lay on the page. More and more I am finding that electronic messages are so impersonal. You can hide in every way, behind the ever so perfect type face and any excuse like, "oh my phone died". I don't feel like I am actually reaching that person, the conversation starts to feel like a dialogue from some strange book appearing on my screen, only fiction and fantasy, not a real person. And so I find myself far removed from the comfort of human connection.

I know this is slightly off topic, but there is something I have begun to realize lately, we all need to feel a connection with someone. Even if it is with only one person. You do this by being yourself, letting that other person see the real you. Which scares so many people. This is how we all have 500 facebook friends, it's all fake. We act how we think others want us to be and when you leave that conversation, you feel as if it was only air, you don't feel any closer to that person. It was fake with nothing of substance; you know it and they know it.

(aaand we're back)

 I know everyone loves that feeling when you reach into the mail box and pull out a letter instead of advertisements. For me it is a complete thrill, like a present I can't wait to open and a warm feeling of being loved. I have received a letter recently and it has had me thinking about why they are so special. They mean a lot to me; that person took the time to hand write a message just for me and pay the postage to get it to me.

I used to write to my Grandpa and still have a book filled with his letters. I love it, I love the way his handwriting seems like it will fly off the page or the eagle feather he put in it. Now I have begun to write to others too, and I love it even more.

I guess I wrote all this because I really wanted to share my thoughts on letters and how their simplicity seems to be underrated now a days. And maybe I just wanted to see if anyone else feels the same way.

Lately I feel that somehow modern communication has lost its humanity...


  1. The letter with the dots is from ME. CONNER. Just so everyone knows. I want credit, I spent like four hours sticking dots on that thing.

  2. I saved all of the letters from my grandpa, and amazingly, my mom handed me a big envelope filled with MY letters-he had been saving them too!!! I am sooooooo grateful I have them. I could not agree more with your post.

  3. I wish I could trust that you will receive a letter from me and not have it returned.
    My dad saved all my missionary letters in a notebook so I would have them when I got home. They are very special to me. We used to write our Grandma letters on the paper placemats at restraunts so she could see where we ate. She loved it.

  4. Connor, I was trying to decide if the dots were arranged in a specific order and if there was an artistic statement being made. Pointellism?

  5. Sort of.. but not really. I had visions of amazing things when I started, but after about 45 minutes I gave up. I might try again on the next letter.