Wednesday, January 27, 2010

of pen and paper

Things die. People die. Recently, I have had the experience of not having technology at my fingertips, here in Prague and it made me blow the dust off of tools I had buried deep within my toolbox. The simple need to communicate has made me rediscover this flat substance, usually made from trees and a writing instrument that bleeds ink. You can control the flow, perfect in its own creation and perfectly reflects the flaws of the user. There is no spell-checker, or recommendation to lift your voice...restricting you to your own voice.
I saw a protest. A sole individual wanting to be heard. Are outcries to be heard obsolete in the cold? We don't paint signs and gather as much as we did or our parents.
Religion...perhaps that is a good thing that we start to see our need to be saved from our selves starts with saving ourselves.
Though graphing is like an artistic protest, I rarely find pieces like this.
What we do see is the evidence of our past. Our transport has changed from footpaths and horses as primary means. I looked at my laptop, in its disuse, unable to connect to the world as frequently as I had been used to.

I looked down at my pen, my paper and I wrote a letter to a dear friend. It was eight pages long. I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter that long. I read over all of the details I normally omit with technology. I described scenes, places, scents, and I felt life in the pages. I made the effort to go to the post office and mailed it out. It was the hard way, the personal way, and one that made me ache to write with more depth.

"My Little Town" has the best lyric about imagination...the colours are there...you just have to see them. We can't let our imaginations die because of lack...it isn't about trying to emulate someone else. No copies...just like the letter...it is an original.

11 comments:

Aine Butler-Smith said...

I miss letter writing, I used to have a pen pal and when my grandmother was alive, we wrote to each other. Thanks for the reminder.

Aine
http://theevolvingspirit.blogspot.com

Katherine Jenkins said...

Nice! I love letter writing and still keep a hand-written journal that I write in every evening. I wish I wrote more letters...I use to be a BIG letter writer! Enjoy your travels and I love the pictures Marilyn!

Marla said...

There is something so intimate about a hand-written letter. I have a file cabinet filled to overflowing with all the hand-written letters I have ever received. I cherish them because they hold the hearts of the writers.

Wonderful post and photos.

Marilyn said...

Thank you Marla and Aine, I agree totally. Instead of gifts, I would love more letters. I started thinking about how email has evolved into the instant gratification of relationships. A lot of how I used to write people didn't transfer over with technology. When someone gets a long email...more groan and don't welcome them as they would a letter. I think it is a tradition I am going to revive...it needs to be revived and cherished.

Thank you Kathy for your kind words.
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kario said...

This was terrific! I am interested in contributing to this blog if you are still looking for more writers. I have a blog of my own that started as a writer's blog but, over the years, has morphed into something slightly more personal than that. After having completed my first book (as yet unpublished) and beginning work on a second one sporadically, I am certain that I need to practice more "writing" and less journaling which I do on my own blog. If you are interested, please visit my blog and read entries past and present and leave me a comment. Thanks!

Heather Conroy said...

Wonderful and original. My handwriting has really deteriorated in recent years. I have had to make a concerted effort to practice it. Perhaps I could send you a letter? If you have facebook add me as a friend and message me your address. I warn you though the handwriting is a disgrace:)

Marilyn said...

Kario, I am glad to have sparked something within you. Heather..when I get to my next destination would love for you to write...I will unveil that destination next month...kind of like "where in the world is Marilyn now..."
I leave next Monday...hint...it is the largest country in the world...well...the largest population in a city with a history so bloody they renamed the city (which was the former capital).

Much love to all of you.

Earthula said...

Where in the World is Marilyn? How wonderful that you can write it and... wonder!

I was at a lecture last night about typography and the love that flows from the hand..writing.-"The pleasure of the text made tangible" Robert Bringhurst

Thank you for sharing Prague.

marcime said...

Hi Marilyn - I am a new writer here at Writers Rising - I too am a student of teaching english this year - TESOL.

handwritten letters ...as if you send a piece of yourself in your unique formation of the letters, the blots of ink on the page showing your toil, perhaps a tear smudge...things a font could never convey - thanks -m

Marilyn said...

Ah Lady E...good to hear from you again! I hope is well for you back in Canada! It was great to see you in Paris. I love how this world is like magic and I loved your posts about your explorations in Paris.
You are a magic woman!

Marilyn said...

Mari...
many a page holds the coffee stains of our lives...mixed in with the tears. With each letter I write and have to take that walk in the snows of Prague to the Post office...I find a source of joy in the journey to know that the receiver of my letters loves them.
That is more of a journey than just hitting the send button.

Marilyn