The Unsaid is Inaudible to the Heart
In another universe, St. Exupery’s Little Prince added this corollary to “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Another example of it is an old Norwegian joke, popular here in WI:
One day Lena slammed her hand down on the breakfast table she’d shared with her husband Ole for the last 20 years. “Ole!” she hollered, “You never once have told me you loved me, not since that day we got married!”
Ole took a loud sip of coffee before he replied. “Well, Lena,” he said, “If it ever changes, I’ll let you know.”
Lately, as I’ve been traveling, I’ve had the opportunity to send a few cards and letters via good-old-snail-mail, and when I got home I found more than a few waiting for me. That personal touch, handwriting putting ink to paper, whether in the form of a story you inspired or a simple stream-of-consciousness shared by someone dear…that is really a uniquely visceral message of love, of caring, of taking time, not only to create the physical object but also to wait longer than pressing “send” for your intended recipient to get the news.
I’m not sure I’m making the connection clear here: I think sometimes I am guilty of taking for granted the ease with which we can put a little “<3” at the end of a text or an email and think that’s letting them know how we feel. And yes, it’s cute and fun. But there’s a lot to be said for making the effort to go beyond the virtual. For remembering how it feels to have a hand tired from writing. To look at a stack of letters bundled together and recognize the time and effort and thought and care they represent.
In other words: want to cheer yourself up? Go buy some stamps and send some cards and letters. Doesn’t really matter what, or to who. The act of caring to do it will be enough to put you in a different frame of mind.
And to prove it, to put my money where my mouth is: can’t think of who to write to? Email email@example.com and I’ll give you mine. If you write me, I promise you a letter in return. No, this is not a mailing list scam or some novel way to populate a sales database. It’s just me, Gray, trying to let you know: letter writing is cool.
On the other hand, if you do want to be part of something commercial, notice the cool Tip button down there? We’re part of an alpha-test of a new company for bloggers, so feel free to try it out and let us know what you think!