Last week I received a package from a dear friend, Tracy, who lives in California. She was my old boss but, more importantly, a trusted and loving confidante whom I wish I connected with more often. Tracy is old-school in the sense she never texts, rarely emails, but occasionally rings while sipping wine in a vineyard she thinks we ought to visit. The moment I noticed Tracy’s easily identifiable handwriting on a brown paper package on my doorstep, I smiled really, really big.
I had seen her writing for years on production shoot notes or editing scripts, each letter always leaning way to the left as if there was a fan on the right side of the page. This was Tracy alright. Although her writing made me miss my close friend, there was a comfort in knowing she had created this package and card only days ago, pen and paper in hand. Nothing better.
I thought of this feeling again today when I received a correspondence in the mail. Just a few days ago I met up with a woman named Michelle, a fellow believer in the importance of handwriting . While we both took notes during our conversation I noticed her unique penmanship. All of her letters were printed lowercase yet still held a nice finesse and sophistication. When I found her letter sticking out of the junk mail one day, I knew in a second this was Michelle (I soon enjoyed a thoughtful note on lovely cotton paper, personalized with letterpress. My kind of girl!). Even after one meeting, her writing became one of the pieces of my new friend.
As we consume piles of catalogues, bills and excess paper advertisements each day, it’s a simple joy to receive anything personal in the mail these days. It’s in this moment when holding a simple, handwritten letter naturally forces me to pause, feel the life within the correspondence, and appreciate and give thanks for the effort behind the letter.