The fine art of handwriting – or the art of fine handwriting – might be dead or dying (I’ve written another blog about that), but the art of the letter is quite lively indeed.
I am just one grain in a big pile of sand, and if I’m carrying on a lively correspondence I’m thinking many, many other people are doing the same. I recently read about the death of conversation. The group under discussion was quite a lofty one. I suppose they were mourning the death of lofty, esoteric conversations. Such exchanges can be fascinating, but the vast majority of us grains of sand are quite content with the more modest level of our own conversations – especially the emailed variety. I’ve a wonderful Canadian friend I’ve never met. We’ve a meeting of the minds and of our personalities, but not of our persons. We’ve been conversing for over a year now, and we’ve not yet run out of conversation. We stay away from the topics of sex, religion and politics: we’re too old for the first, agree that our own brands of religion are tailor-made for ourselves, and we’re both often disgusted with the politics of our respective countries.*
The nice thing about email conversations is that we can take whatever time we need to complete our reply and, unlike a phone call or text, it can be interrupted and resumed later without the recipient even noticing. Washed laundry has to be put in dryer, bread taken out of the oven, meals need to be made, walls need painting, and even though the other one would never have known the difference, it’s interesting when we let the other one know just what we’re doing on the home front and why we interrupted a letter or where we’re going when we finish.
We converse about clothes and shopping, what the children are doing, what we’re reading these days, or exercise and the lack thereof and our efforts to improve. We kibitz on the care-and-feeding of husbands – especially the care thereof. That in itself could keep us conversing for years.
One favo(u)rite topic is the weather – after all, the differences in climate from London, Ontario to Indian Land, South Carolina can be significant. I must say though that this past summer’s conversation dwelled too frequently on the incessant, mind-sapping heat in both locations. Our winters, so far, haven’t been too bad. We thank the powers that be for small favors.
I do recommend that you find a congenial correspondent of your own, or if one seems to find you do not let it get away. It’s sharing everything to the nth degree, it’s finding a sister of the heart.
* Do go and peruse the postings in Susanna Says here
and her new blog Susannah's Journey here,