For this week’s challenge, share a photo with letters — no matter the alphabet. You can capture a neon sign, a sentence scribbled in an old phone booth, a random letter that’s seemingly out of place, or anything else. As you look through your lens, think about how your image might convey something bigger: a snapshot of how we communicate with one another, even if we don’t speak the same language.
I’m taking this challenge in a different way – a bit more literal if you will. My post will be about language, but also about letters themselves and the importance of keeping up the tradition of letter-writing.
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” ~ J.K. Rowling
Letter writing is a family trait.
I have vivid memories of my mother sitting at her escritoire, writing a weekly letter or postcard to bring people up to date on our family’s events: to my grandmother, to my aunt and her family and to various family friends. While travelling, it was my mother’s postcards that gave us the flavour of my parents’ trip – the gardens, the coffee shops, the delicious food, all documented in my mother’s distinctive and lovely cursive handwriting. My mother is such a devoted fan of the letter that she has maintained a relationship with her childhood pal for over sixty years. They first met at age nine, when Patti was a summer visitor, and they have remained in contact for over sixty years. While theirs was a face-to-face friendship, they now prefer to keep their contact via detailed letters and photos.
My father had horrible handwriting that could rival a doctor’s, but he too firmly believed in the power of letters. While I was at university, my father made a point to write something to me each Sunday night, even if it was just a quick note on a favourite cartoon from that week’s paper or an article where he had made notes on for me to look over. Every holiday was marked with a small note card – a child’s Valentine in February, a postcard with a bunny. My mother has chosen to continue that tradition to this day; it is one of our favourite memories as their children and grandchildren.
This week’s challenge was particularly timely as a dear friend has been particularly inspirational with her letters. Janet challenged herself to write a #letteraday, and receiving her handwritten epistles in the mailbox has inspired me to write my own weekly notes to family and friends (albeit by postcard instead of full letter format). There’s something so wondrous about heading to the mailbox to receive “happy mail” – a note, a card, a memento that shares that someone was thinking about you.
“A letter is always better than a phone call. People write things in letters they would never say in person. They permit themselves to write down feelings and observations using emotional syntax far more intimate and powerful than speech will allow.” ~ Alice Steinbach
How do YOU continue to communicate? What is the power of letters and language in your life, especially with the ascent of email and text messages? Leave your links below so I may explore your postings!