A slight rustle fills the room, and the touch of rifled paper lights excitement through the fingers. It’s not the boring bill on bleached paper, not the ad on cheaply colored sheets. Letters in royal blue ink, addressed to you.
Handwritten letters are a dying art form that everybody should help revive.
The sense of sincerity captured by them still outmatches the digital messaging age, where electronic messages can travel multiple times around the earth in milliseconds. Choosing to bring the letter to the post office, and making it travel on wheels and feet almost seems rebellious now. But as the letter journeys through the country, and sometimes across the sea, it turns into a story itself, saying, “I have gone great lengths to reach you finally.”
Wrapped like a present, it reaches its final destination, sparking curiosity. Instead of being one tap of the thumb away, already teasing the first line, the handwritten letter, closed, still exudes complete mystery. The envelope reveals the sender, and a first glimpse of the personal handwriting shows, but what is in there? A plea for money? Or a confession, tainted with goodbye? So used to instant information, now the experience like five-star dining awaits, and the hand reaches for the knife in anticipation, to cut open the envelope.
Now, the making of the stationery also contributes to the thoughtfulness and the longevity of the message. Thicker paper lasts longer, and a cream tone calls back to the days of royal courtship and, of course, drafting of constitutions. Being able to touch and feel the letter gives the words more weight and the sense that they are not purely products of the mind, but exist as a physical item in real life.
Your personal handwriting reveals more about you than the usual Helvetica font. Reading a letter can be a pure aesthetic bliss with its calligraphic curves, but can also be a way of making recipients really think about your words by letting them decipher your hieroglyphs. What really adds color to the experience is the fact that it becomes a signature as unique as a fingerprint, and a mirror of your character and personality. Some emotions felt during composing might even stay alive through the handwriting: happiness is expressed in generous swings, and the harshness of telling a bitter truth shows in sharp cuts.
There is an element of finality in handwritten letters. There is no delete button. So, the mind and the heart will carefully craft every sentence, every expression, and then maybe find their early form on scratch papers. By the time the pen touches the actual stationery, the refining fire of time and thought forged the words to their purest form possible. The handwritten letter conveys most clearly and beautifully the message inside one’s heart in a way that no chat bubble can express.
Hopefully, the letter will find a special fate in the recipient’s home, in a little wooden treasure box to read again months later with the ripeness of nostalgia, or even burning into ashes at the flames of a match – it will leave a more memorable impression than a DM in the depths of dark underground cloud servers.
Crafting a handwritten letter is a skill that should be in practice more regularly again, especially for people who have trouble expressing themselves in a more vulnerable way. Get a batch of stationery and start with one short page: whether you encourage a friend who is having a hard time, or to express gratitude for somebody who helped you while preparing for midterms. It is not only reserved for the hopeless romantics – even though love letters are especially well-received by the crazed “Pride and Prejudice” ladies on campus.