Thursday, 9 January 2014

a year of letter writing

I have to confess, when I walked into my friend's house on Christmas Eve, I was filled with holiday card envy. All those cards.  All those handwritten notes.  Connection. Beauty. Blessing.  

It got me thinking. Why don't people send holiday cards as much as they used to?  I know there are good reasons.  Environmentally, it makes more sense for the trees to send electronic notes.  And, some have probably cut back on cards because living within a reasonable budget matters.  But really, the cultural shift has happened.  In this digital age, Facebook and emails and e-cards replace handwritten notes and cards. So my holiday card envy is less about receiving cards by post this time of year and more about my longing for deeper connection.

The more I use Facebook the more I feel empty. I never get the full story or even part of the story for that matter. There is no beginning, middle, or end. No real entry point. Often times, it is just a  location or a few words or something someone likes, and while I am grateful to connect in some way, it just doesn't cut it for me. I suppose in a very fragmented world, it is just more and more fragments for me to try to put together.

Okay, so I know Facebook is not for longer discussions or deeper connections, but I have even noticed in myself a sort of laziness in how I communicate or connect.  It is easier to send literally three words or to click the like button.  I secretly promise myself I will send a longer note later, but I never do.

Until now.

This year I am taking on the art of letter writing the old-fashioned way (with pen and paper) hoping for more connection and for more meaningful fragments.  Letter writing is a dying art and I want to help save it.

I will write one letter a week, so one year from now, I will have made 52 connections. Not enough to keep the post office in business, but enough for me to begin to understanding what this longing is in me for connection.

Periodically I will record my thoughts about this adventure here.


  1. yay! This has been a resolution of mine from time to time... and it never disappoints. Glad you're doing this... and hoping that I'll be one of the 52. My grandmother used to tell me, when I would pine away at the mailbox, that you've "got to write letters to get letters," so... keep an eye out!

  2. you bet you are on my list. i still owe you from the summer. i already have the topic i want to discuss. i know that you have had this hope from time to time. probably where i got the idea. i always love your letters.

  3. I send cards every month to friends abroad (to my husband's horror). I guess not having FB or Twitter does make a difference as I have never used them to stay in touch. I would be sad if writing letters became a lost art :(

  4. Yes, I do use FB to stay in touch and that is why I feel so empty. It is not that sort of space, I guess, but I so easily slip into thinking it is.

    I recently heard a story about post offices closing in Canada and I quietly panicked. What if they closed here? So, I guess that sort of fuels my project as well. There is nothing like a handwritten note or letter. How lucky your friends are to receive those cards from you. And I bet writing those gives you so much as well.

    Peace, Nicki

  5. What a wonderful idea Nicki! I hope you get much pleasure from the sending (and receiving) of the letters. And I know what you mean about FB emptiness, which is why I try to limit its use when I can.

    Best wishes to you X