{paper & pen}
part i

there’s something intrinsically charming & lovely about arriving home to find that a handwritten letter or postcard awaits you, ready to be gathered up in your hands & pored over.  such occurrences are becoming rarer.

i was of middle school age when written correspondence became a consistent part of my life; there was a point when i was exchanging letters continually with about five or six friends.  over time, i developed quite the letter-writing regimen:

1. read letter (on the way from mailbox to bedroom, generally),
2. read letter, again (with japanese notebook handy, taking note of the date & listing items requiring response or introduction), & tuck away in its appropriate box,
3. respond (usually within a day or two, with paper & envelope set chosen carefully from my stationery wares),
4. note mailing & return addresses, lick & affix 29¢ stamp,
5. transfer letter to post office via dad, record in notebook date sent.

my dad also made sure to keep my young aspirations of becoming someone’s secretary from billowing out of control (“you’ll never be your own boss!” -dad, ca. 1995).

the letter-writing habit has waned quite a bit since, but i am making an effort, albeit slowly, to restore its weighty significance.  i know a handful of lovely folks who also heartily keep the postal service running.  & you… might i have you along as well?