Letters Never Sent

letterstackHe who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.
~ Elbert Hubbard

The world has grown impatient and moves too fast. No one stops or even slows to look at what’s in front of them, they focus only on what they want, crave, or desire. Staring at what’s up ahead there on the path. Wondering what’s beyond the curve in the road. And because of it, taking the time to actually write a physical letter is a dead art. An art that needs CPR for the sanity of humankind.

I have a bundle of letters that looks a little like the image above. Somewhere. In a box, in the basement, wrapped in a faded pink ribbon, are the hand-written memories of a long ago summer. Very long ago. From my first true love. Without even hunting them down and looking, I can tell you some are written on blank pages and others on yellow lined paper. I can easily remember a couple drawings scribbled into the margins for effect and a smile which even now sneaks from the sides of my mouth with only the memory rather than the image in front of me. They are still in the carefully opened but occasionally torn envelopes and I’m sure look far more worn than the pile in the picture. While they may be deemed loved letters by default, based on the relationship of the writer and reader, they were really nothing more than communication during an era before cellphones and internet and instant gratification. They are ghosts from a time when people spoke slower, and if it was really important, they would shut up and write it down.

Hmmm imagine how quiet the world would be if you only spoke of things when and if they were important enough for you to actually stop and write them down instead…

I have another stack in a more virtual manner. No ribbon. No envelopes. No lines of faded blue or smears of old ink. No, these letters sit in various folders on my laptop—some in the email drafts, some tucked into pseudo documents hiding behind folder names meant to deceive. Unlike the stack hiding in the basement, these were never sent. Never received. Never read by their intended audience. They were created over the years to appease the soul. To quiet the voice screaming in my head or the child quietly crying in my psyche. They were put down as a way to mutter all the words I didn’t have the heart or soul or balls to say out loud, whether it be for fear of rejection or retaliation, to avoid the extraneous reality of their weight, or because the trepidation of my imagined response was enough to keep me silent.

The last physical letter I wrote was several years ago. I’ve since become part of the hurry-hurry world, and rely on email and texting. I think maybe it’s time to dust off the stationery and use those forever stamps I bought. Maybe, just maybe, we can turn back the clock one letter at a time, and make life simpler, more enjoyable—slow it all down, and give someone a smile in the form of something other than bills in their mailbox. Maybe I’ll exercise the demons behind some of those hidden folders. Maybe I’ll just say hi to an old friend.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll write something that requires ribbon.

Thoughts? Tell me what you think...

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