Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Real" Mail...Really

The mailman has come and gone and it was the usual-usual: two
catalogs, one request for a donation, two advertisements, and two
bills. I used to love to get mail- when there really was such a thing
as MAIL...when people used that handy-dandy but increasingly-
unfamiliar little item known as a pen to actually put words on
paper as a method of communicating with those they love.

To illustrate how foreign a concept this has become, especially
to the younger generations: a few weeks back I had gone to a
local coffee shop with my notebook (the old, familiar paper type)
and my "notebook" computer to do some sermon research. As
I sat at a table enjoying my coffee and reading the various sites,
I was also taking notes in my paper notebook with a pen, notes
which I would later use to assist with sermon preparation. A
young woman had asked if she could share my table, as the
place was quite crowded and she had opened her computer and
was typing busily, apparently doing some work for a class. In
the midst of my work, a young male friend of hers stopped by
the table to chat and suddenly he exclaimed, "Oh, my God!
You're writing!"  I nodded, unsure of what my response should
be, when he went on, speaking to my tablemate, "Did you see
her handwriting? It's amazing! Like calligraphy or something."
And these two college-age young people oohed and aahed
over what I considered to be my note-taking scribble.

It was funny at the time- and still is, truth be told- but it is
also sadly indicative of the times. I have only two friends who
have refused to become "computerized", which means any
correspondence with them necessitates using the phone or
writing a note and sending it snail-mail. And I have to
acknowledge that I, too- the card-sender-extraordinaire-
have slipped into the all-too-easy habit of communicating
via email or texting or messaging.

How sad. I used to love to open my mail- my "real" mail-
which would arrive with some regularity, as friends and
family from near and far helped to maintain the fragile
but beautiful bonds which link us, But now postage stamps
are more expensive and writing takes time and...oh, my,
the excuses we can find are myriad, aren't they? But
perhaps if I take the time to write, the recipient will respond
in kind... and some "real" mail will come through the slot
in my front door one of these days...perhaps. After all, it
has to start somewhere, so why not with me? 

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