Saturday, 25 January 2014

is letter writing an art?

I have been writing letters like crazy--to my aunts, to my sister, to my son--and I dream of writing letters to friends who I see often and not-so-often,  and I wonder why this wave of writing comes on so strongly.  I have heard of writers who can't put their pens down or turn their computers off because the call of the Muse is so powerful and inspiring, so pulling.  The urge to create and write is so primal that at times it seems a bit frightening, but I mostly love its crazy tug.

The crazy pull to write comes even stronger when I receive a letter in the post.  I have no expectations that others will write me back but when it happens, I can't stop smiling.  I received a ten page letter this week from my 84 year old aunt and I must have read it three or four times.  Her handwriting, her words, her thoughts, I love.  I know this love.  It is like standing in front of my favorite Van Gogh painting and never wanting to turn away from it to leave because I love its form, its colour, its stroke.  I want to remember it.

And I wonder how much letter writing really is an art.

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