Friday, March 10, 2017

remembering letters

Written in a handwriting I somehow feel I should remember but don't came a card with an anonymous birthday note yesterday.
The picture was a reproduction/print of a Swedish breakfast gathering under a birch. The card was signed "ever an admirer," which, if true, made me nervous, and, if false, made me wonder at the thoughtfulness of the card. The handwriting was quite small and meticulously neat. Contained inside the card was a Peanuts cartoon referring to snailmail letters. The cartoon strip was spliced into a truncated envelope bearing the question, "remember letters?"

Yes I do and I woke up this morning tantalized by the card that lacked a person. I didn't mind that it lacked a person ... person-dom is fun, but not exactly necessary. The card felt warm in my mind ... something placed on the parallel-lines-meet-in-infinity tracks. If it was a mystery, that was fine. If it wasn't a mystery, that was fine. Do the lines meet? Fine. Do the lines never meet? Fine. Everything felt toasty as I lay warm in bed in the pre-dawn hours basking in thoughts that allowed me to remain ensconced in sheet and blankets.

Letters -- the snailmail kind -- were lovely. They presumed without demurrer that between sending and receiving, little or nothing had changed. They allowed for raucous opinion or gnashing sorrow. How in love or hate anyone might be! How decorous or indecorous! How I would hang on their words after opening one from someone I hoped to hear from. There was no internet. No rush ... or, even if there was a rush, the rush was deflated by life's stately paces. Letters assumed both parties credited letters as concrete purveyors of the God's honest truth ... after three or four or five days traveling.

"I love you...."

The diaphanous words hung on diaphanous threads in a diaphanous mind ... and for whatever brief moment, it spelled out a cuddling "yes."


  1. Nice to have a little mystery late in one's life.

  2. I remember. When I moved out of home and abroad, I used to exchange letters with a childhood girl friend of mine. I remember the joy of receiving and reading them once, twice, three times.. And laughing as much, since we hardly wrote a serious line. She signed the letters as "your witch friend" and each letter brought back the feeling of being with her. The bliss and happiness was far more ignorant those days and the handwriting was nowhere near as meticulous laid out, but the jokes where thoughtfull and laughs were certainly as true as God can be.

    There wasn't admiration, just friendship and companionship... And that was quite enough.

    Happy Birthday Adam.

  3. Recently I came across a packet of letters from my first love, a sweet man long gone. Nearly fifty years have passed since our time together, and other loves as well; but the sight of his handwriting on those pages pulled him back to life for me. It was as if he had entered the room.