I love letters! You know, the hand written kind with lots of thought. I love the way they speak, not only the words within them, but of the history they create. The best part of the history of these hand written letter is that it cannot be erased with a click of the delete button. What’s said is said, for eternity.
The fact of the matter is because of technology, the written word is long gone as we used to know it.
And this saddens me. Because no matter how hard I try I’ve never kept an email of someone pronouncing their undying love for me. Not that I have gotten one like that, but there have been some from my past that I wished I would have saved. Sure, I’ve tried to save some and tried to file others away. But eventually everything seems to get deleted at some time or another, whether I’ve upgraded computers or had a computer meltdown.
I can’t, however, say the same for hand written letters.
I have a box that I secretly call my “box of memories” (I know, clever isn’t it?). It is full of old letters from past boyfriends, little notes from my ex-husband, tiny bits of paper with scribbles on them that only I would understand, pictures, and momentos such as ticket stubs, brochures and receipts. Very rarely do I ever get the box down and go through it, but when I do, it makes me so happy it hurts. It hurts because they are little glimpses into my life, a culmination of who I was, who I am and who I wanted to be. These momentos make me smile.
I got my “box of memories” down this weekend and for the first time in ages, it didn’t make me so happy , in fact, it made me a little teary eyed. It made me start to think about how little people cherish anything anymore, even beyond letters. Nowadays life is more about streamlining and detoxing, and less about creating memories treasuring things we have done or experienced.
In the age of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, IMing and texting, the adage of letter writing has gone by the wayside. It is truly becoming a lost art, which is sad, because I compare letter writing to me like I compare having my car serviced. If I don’t have my car routinely serviced and looked after then it just doesn’t run like it should, in the same sense that relationships are “fueled” every now and then with an old fashioned love letter. Think about how much you love to get a card or a letter in the mail, it brings joy to your heart and a smile to your face. Now how do you feel when you get an e-card from someone? Not the same, right?
So in keeping with today’s theme, Love letters, I would like to share with you a very powerful love letter that I have kept in my “box of memories” since the day in junior high that I found it. It is a love letter to Elizabeth Barrett from Robert Browning on the morning of their wedding in 1846.
My Dearest Elizabeth,
You constantly remind me, life is love, constant, un-diminishing love. Every bit of love I have is for you. One day I will find that last inch of it and finally be satisfied that I did the best I could for you. There are so many moments that send me deeper in love with you, I don’t know how far it goes. It’s such that I grow, swell even, looking into your eyes. You lift me.”
Wow! That is so powerful…it still affects me today like it did almost 25 years ago. If you shut your eyes tight enough you can almost feel the love as if it were meant for you. And it’s feelings like these that you cannot ever get from an email or a text message.
Love is a Battlefield