Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The art of communication- pen friends

What is it about the written word that leads us to dreamily gaze off into the distance, blush, or be filled with warmth?  The written word can inspire, outrage, anger or send us off to sleep, all dependent on the which words are used and our imaginations.  Recently a line as simple as ‘It would be swell if you would consider…’  caught my breath. Even out of context it does something to me. No I am not a boozer for words, drunk on consonants or syllables… It is the question-the promise of what could be, the humility that lies behind and the hope imbued. But then I am one to always read too much into things (pun intended).

This snippet of inspiring text was written to me by a pen friend from the other side of the world. We have never met, we write, we share and try to be as honest as we feel safe enough to be.

It is winter where he lives and snowing. He describes ‘The purity of a perfect white palette’, he sends me photos of sunsets and images from his walks through town. He shares his story and his day. He uses the English language skilfully and I am often ashamed of my feeble replies. He takes the time to do the one thing that we too often forget to do, that we are too ‘busy’ to do, he takes the time to put his thoughts down. His words are composed. He doesn’t just bash away at a keyboard hoping the right sentiment or keys are hit. The art of writing letters might be dying, much like the mode of horse driven transport, but the art of communication is not dead, we just need to remember to respect it, to respect the reader and ourselves, to write like it means something and to let it come from within. When I read his emails I am transported to his home-office looking out at the snowflakes as big as cotton balls, drifting sideways across the window... I am in awe and waiting patiently for the next sunset.

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