I just handwrote three thank you notes to friends who had been kind enough to remember my birthday with gifts sent in old-fashioned bubble envelopes, the address handwritten on them. One of my oldest and best friends had sent a handwritten letter along with five cards featuring her art. Then one of our former au pairs visited a few days after my birthday and gave me an old-fashioned fountain pen and another stack of cards. I decided that events were conspiring for me to take the time to write elegant thank you notes with that fountain pen. I hadn’t written with a fountain pen in more than a decade. It felt odd and easy at the same time; after all, I grew up learning how to write with a fountain pen. Who had what kind of fountain pen in grade school was a big deal. Penmanship was a big deal. Now, after writing three notes, my hand hurts!
I also realized, once again, holding my friend’s letter, how much I miss her handwriting, and anybody else’s for that matter. A person’s handwriting is such an expression of personality – when you see the envelope, you know who the letter is from. It’s like a person’s voice: you know who’s on the phone before they even announce their name. Thankfully, I have shoe boxes full of the most important correspondences of my life but sadly, even though some of those correspondences continue to the present day, I rarely add anything to those collections anymore. All correspondence has now been relegated to my email inbox where everybody’s message looks the same.
Do you still write by hand, at least once in a while?