Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Operation Letter Writer

A few nights ago just before I drifted off to sleep, an idea popped into my head -- I suddenly felt an urge to write a letter.

Of course, I write stuff all the time, that's my job, but that's usually technical documents, email, and other assorted digital wordage. No, I wanted to actually find some paper and a pen and write a letter. Ah, but being so close to sleep, balanced on that soft cushion of time, that ephemeral moment between the two states, I decided to not get up and write down my idea. Rather, I decided to let "fate" decide whether I'd put pen to paper: if it was important enough I'd remember in the morning, I reasoned.

Then, that last bit of pesky mental ballast cast aside, I drifted off to sleep.

I didn't remember the next morning or the one after that. But three nights later, I remembered.

I looked around for paper and a pen. Pens are easy at our house, we have lots. But paper... I finally settled on some plain 'ol lined binder paper. Hardly a medium worthy of such a grand venture but I was determined to let nothing stop me.

My first letter (for surely this would be a true renaissance of letter writing) would be to my father. What a lucky man! Happy with this choice I found a few quiet moments and sat down to write.

My first three paragraphs turned out to be meta-letter comments about how it had been a long time since I wrote a letter, how I was so used to using the computer my writing had degenerated to a kind of chicken-scratch-meets-elephant-painting-with-finger-paint, and how I didn't know where to start.

This letter writing thing was much harder than I anticipated. Mostly because I felt like since I was taking the time to actually write it, it should be filled with deep meaning and clever phrasing and so on. It needed to be worthy.

Plus: no spell check or delete key.

After two pages of furious scribbling, I took a minute to read over the fruits of my labor.

And promptly threw the stinking pile into the trash.

So it remains: Letter Writing: 1, Me: 0


I haven't given up. I'm actually more determined after the miserable failure. I just need to approach it bit more cautiously this time. Maybe sneak around and approach it from another angle. But yes, oh yes, I will write a letter.

No comments:

Post a Comment