Thursday, 5 January 2017

Thursday, or Thereabouts - January 5, 2017

Correspondence Day

Winter is back!  After a brief sojourn in rain and slush and muck, our driveway has solidified into a craggy gauntlet of frozen treachery that none, without ice cleats, may pass. It's going to be an indoor day for me.

My hero - spreading ash on the driveway of doom

I will surround myself with warmth - fleece, blankies, tea - while I attend to my inbox. Would that it were an actual box, with real letters in it, handwritten missives telling of concerns, questions, and well wishes; something like the red box of government papers sent to the Queen daily.

I want to sit at my writing desk today, pen in hand, fine paper before me and do that old-fashioned thing - write letters. I don't want to sit in front of a computer screen tapping out individual elements of the English alphabet to make words, sentences, paragraphs. I want to form flowing cursive script on cream coloured pages with torn edges.

I don't want to use emoticons, however yellow, cute, funny, clever or animated, to convey some kind of emotional state. The honest moments and movements of my heart need words, real words born of thought-FULL-ness; words that don't always come easily, that often struggle to be a handhold, a hug, a substitute for eye to eye, heart to heart communication.

If I find that writing takes too much time, there is a Plan B. Another old-fashioned instrument lies within arms reach, the one invented by Alexander Graham Bell. To speak and talk in real time, with a real person - what a concept! It is so much more satisfying and effective than a ping and flash of words across a smartphone screen. And there is far less chance of miscues and mix-ups occasioned by a plethora of abbreviations.

This is not a rant against tech. I use it - no kidding, eh? I appreciate its speed, efficiency, and encyclopedic (though not always truthful!) data. And yes, at some point, I will end up keyboarding most of my cursive communiques. The information super highway is unlikely to get buried in paper.

BUT I don't want to sacrifice the irreplaceable skill of written, hand-written, words on paper and that two way street of listening and speaking that is person to person conversation, especially in matters of the heart, in those relationships that matter most.

The kettle is boiling, my pen is ready. It's Correspondence Day.

©2017 April Hoeller


  1. This was true to form honest, and beautifully written April....thank you....

    1. Thank you Deb for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
      All the best in 2017.

  2. The appeal of fine paper cannot be overlooked. And the pen also looks very attractive. As for the letterbox....have you watched "The Crown" in which Elizabeth is given instruction from her father , the King, on how to approach the full box of papers? The series is marvelous and I think you would love it if you have not seen it already.

    1. Hi Leueen. Yes I have watched "The Crown." I recall the King instructed Elizabeth to turf the box out and start with the stuff on the bottom, as it was the really important/controversial missives put there in hopes that the monarch would be too fatigued to read it. And yes, I loved the serious - though they are awfully tough on Philip. Then again maybe he deserves it...
      Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. Much appreciated.

  3. Happy New Year April:)
    You had me drooling at your description of cream coloured paper with torn edges.
    I'm made fun of by my children because I insist on typing out entire words when I text!
    Hope you had a wonderful start to 2017 with warm tea and writing.
    love and smiles from sunny Doha:)

    1. Happy New Year, Arti!
      Your greetings warm my heart this day. It's -19°C here right now. Brilliant sunshine, BUT...
      My children still kid me about my misinterpretation of LOL. I thought it was "lots of love." I have learned to check the real meaning of these abbreviations before using any of them, or better yet, I just do what you do - type the words, phrases out in full, proper English. The need for speed is just not high on my list.
      Heaps of love and hugs from sunny but shivering Stouffville (just northeast of Toronto) :-)