Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Month of Letters

On September 2011, Mary Robinette Kowal made a move many of us couldn't ever imagine doing. She took a vacation from the internet for an entire month, asking her friends to communicate with her only through letters. She came to the realization that...
When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me to think about time more because postal mail is slower. “By the time you get this…” It is relaxing. It is intimate. It is both lasting and ephemeral.
How so? I find that I will often read the letters that I receive twice. Once when I get them and again as I write back. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because I don’t have copies of the letters that I write and I am the only one who has copies of the letters that my correspondents write. So, more ephemeral.
Mary's decided to turn February into a Month of Letters, in which she challenges herself and everyone who decides do join to write and send at least a piece of postal mail every day. Here are the rules:
  • Mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  • Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.
Since moving so far from the people that I love I have come to appreciate the mail I receive from them in a way I never did when we lived just up the road from each other.  I also am realizing how I have not really told them in a lasting way what they mean to me.  But here is my chance.

Of course, most of you know I am an Employee Assistant Program Consultant for the USPS.  They provide such a service that many times goes unnoticed or unappreciated.   And the USPS needs our help.  Here is chance number two.

Are you up to Mary's challenge? If you'd like to hear from me click on my "contact me" link on the side bar to send my your address.

Now grab your stationery and stamps and start writing!
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