The Art of Written Correspondence

A few days ago, I was scrolling, clicking and pinning on Pinterest when I found one thing that was absolutely beautiful : a hand-written love letter from a man called Léon to his lover Jeanette. As I was reading their written correspondence, the poesy in the words, and looking at this gorgeous calligraphy, I felt overwhelmed; I almost felt that i was violating an intimate moment between two people who were deeply in love with each other. The letter was obviously not for me, but I could imagine how Jeanette felt while reading these words, after having opened the envelope and taken the letter out of its paper protection that was hiding its content from indiscreet eyes, and she slowly unfolded the piece of paper to read the hand-written love message of her Léon.

written correspondence armelle ferguson2

There is this science that proclaims that one’s hand-writing actually says a lot about that person’s personality. Well, I know nothing about it, but I do really like beautiful hand-writing. I also think jealously sometimes of those lovers or friends who were sending long letters to each other. The amount of patience that it required to wait for the reply; the excitement or even the apprehension caused by the arrival of the next note; the time and the attention put into writing the answer, and making sure that nothing was forgotten.

Right, I might be idealising it a little, but I really feel that opening an instant messaging app and typing a quick message seriously lacks charm compared to this image I have in my mind.

Also, I do not know if anybody feels the same, because sometimes I feel very out of place with my notebooks, my paper and my pens all over the place, but I genuinely feel more focus to take note or to write anything when I do it the old fashion way. I have hundreds of notes on my phone, and here is the way I use them : I type them quickly and… I never use them again ! When I take my time to write something down on paper, I feel a more personal connection with whatever it is that I am writing; I am more focused. It is the same when I am writing to somebody, I feel that there is a more personal level in the writing process, I am opening up, and I just share whatever my heart is felling at this specific moment.

Written correspondence definitely feels deeper and more intimate to me than all the electronic ways of communicating today.

A few weeks ago, I decided to get myself a set of beautiful quality paper from Original Crown Mill with the envelopes that go with it, in a cream colour. I also a set of dip pens and different colors of ink. I actually had some very important letters to write to a few of my close relatives; and I wanted it to feel as personal and crafted as possible. While writing my letters, I actually felt that writing it by hand with all the preparation that goes into it made my message more powerful, more solemn. And to be honest, I really enjoyed that feeling.

It made me want to write more letters, to go back to written correspondence from time to time – while still staying connected to this world obviously – and take the time to write to a friend, a family member, as I believe that it makes the connection a little bit more special when you take the time to sit at a table and write a letter; instead of quickly typing a message while commuting, in between two stops.

What about your relationship with hand-writing ? Do you ever write anything by hand ? Would you ever go back to written correspondence ?

Habakkuk 2:2 

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