The handwritten word


I’ve always considered myself an introvert, placing value in my time alone. But during our new norm consisting of self-isolation and social distancing, I’ve found myself reaching out to others, craving conversation and social interaction. We are lucky today because we have so many formats in which we can talk to or even see our friends and family. From texts and phone calls to Skype meetings and Zoom happy-hours, I’ve tried it all and enjoyed each one. But for me, nothing is more rewarding than the good, old-fashioned correspondence of letter-writing. After all, as Lord Byron said, “letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”

There is something so poetic about taking the time during your day to sit outside or with a cup of coffee and pour your thoughts, fears and emotions onto paper. Personally, I have never needed to do so the way I have during this pandemic. This time has offered me the opportunity to write to my friends and family; some many states away and others, just a few streets. Among life’s trials and tribulations, personal enjoyments and successes, the one common topic of conversation is books. We share what we are currently reading, new shelf additions and recommendations to help through whatever we happen to be going through at the time. 

I have always been an admirer of the written word. The act of reading or creating a sentence so beautiful and full of meaning has always given me solace during difficult times. These days, I have been finding comfort in books about books, such as The Bookshop on the Corner or The Shadow of the Wind, and an old favorite, Devotions. Mary Oliver had a magical way of putting words together to describe the wonder and beauty of nature. During the quarantine, this is something I have grown even more appreciative of and have enjoyed sharing with my friends through letters. So, if you are feeling sad or lonely, happy and energetic, or just want to share a story, pick up a pen, write a letter and send it on its way. And you might just make someone’s day. 

Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash


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