Sunday, 6 February 2011

Remembering a letter...

Maybe it's because I'm watching "A Room with a View", where letters fly back and forth across Europe and England.  Or maybe it's because I've just written some Valentines to mail instead of sending electronic hearts and flowers.  But I am thinking about letters...real letters, not e-mails or text messages or IM conversations.

No, I mean a real paper letter in an envelope, that arrives in the mail, amid the ads and bills.  A letter awaited, and checked for day after day, or a letter that arrives unexpectedly.

A letter can be tucked in a purse or pocket, and taken somewhere to read later...or ripped open and read on the spot, and then re-read again and again. Yes, there are a few letters one dreads to open...a note that's sure to be a "Dear John", or a letter that is sure to hold bad news or anger. But most letters, even short ones, are wonderful to find amid the otherwise dull mail.

Upstairs in my bedroom, there's a large binder filled with letters -- letters from friends while I was in high school and college.  They pretty much stop at that point...e-mail took the place of letters.  But there are wonderful treasures there...descriptions of new adventures, new boyfriends (or the dumping of old ones!), letters from two friends who were living in Europe and sent me descriptions so vivid I felt that I was there, exploring old streets and new works of art. Each letter carries the writer's handwriting, many are decorated with little drawings and last-minute added thoughts around the edges, with arrows pointing to where they would have gone. Had those letters been e-mails, they would have been long since deleted, or at very best (and even this is so rare) printed out and stored as impersonal print on a page. 

I miss letters.  I miss writing them, and I miss receiving them. I miss holding them, and re-reading them for details missed the first time around -- or the second. In the movie, at this moment, one of the characters, is reading a letter -- she's tucked in bed, pillows piled up high behind her, the lamp lit. She opens the envelope and with a wonderful sound of paper cracking, smiles and settles back to read.  No Netbook or iPad on the planet can match that moment.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Getting back into the game

I haven't posted on this blog since late December.  Since then, a lot has happened in my life. 

My new husband had to take an out-of-state job, so we are to be apart for several months of this precious first year.

My car developed serious electrical problems, and I am still trying to get them fixed because buying a new car isn't in the cards right now.

My daughter is still struggling with daily health issues, and we still don't know why or what is causing them.

And in mid January, my mom passed away. 

So with all of that, just keeping up with the blogs and other things I write for work took every ounce of energy I had.  I opened this page a dozen times, but no words came out...until now.

I am tired. Stressed.  Sometimes scared.  Bruised. But I can feel that there is life beneath the surface, like a river that is starting to move again beneath its winter skin of ice.  It's hard to see the change -- in fact, some days a cold, hard freeze seems to put me right back where I was. It could be a sleepless night, or a hard day at work, or something like today when I went to get my car, and found that it was not yet fixed...again.

But the freezes aren't lasting as long now.  Even when they hit, I am feeling that trickle of movement underneath the icy surface...that hint of springtime.  Not yet visible, and yet something I can sense in the air.

Spring is coming.  Maybe not today or tomorrow or even next week.  But it is heading this way. And then the words will flow again.