Monday, February 28, 2011

Paper, Pen and the Solace of Open Spaces.

I lived in written word, books, letters and drafts of things. It sets me in normalcy. My head is filled with phrases from books, films, songs and these words were my solace. To write and read is to weave a protective and seamless cocoon, to drink a potion that would allow you to flee invisible, to take a tunnel no one knew. With a silken line of blue or black ink, I spun a world full of emotions; sometimes imaginary men and women who suffered the harsh edges of reality.

When I watched Letters to Juliet, many memories rekindled. Love letters sent to Juliet of Verona – Shakespeare’s damsel in the tragic story - asking for remedies for the matters of the heart.

Those envelopes and yellowed papers containing the emotions one held for another person. I heard so much of love affairs that blossomed and chronicled by paper and pen. Penpals marrying each other. As this love month ends, I can’t help but think, how many of us still writes on paper and receives letters? With the advent of new technology- social networking sites like Facebook, twitter, tumblr, cellphones, emails and what-have-you, writing on paper becomes antiquated. Some would argue that not using paper is one way of saving trees. But forgive me for not taking this argument, the sentimentality of paper remains. Keeping journals for instance. I used to write anything that comes into my mind, doodles and sweet nothings, ideas that just popped out when you’re at your reverie.

How many of us complain, that we can no longer write unless we see our thoughts on the computer screen? Are our hands can no longer keep up with our fast thoughts? Or due to nonpractice of writing, we are afraid we can no longer decipher our own handwriting?

Time is disintegrating in our hands with the flimsiness of burned paper, pages of ashes, anxious minutes and hours, like the agitated and fleeting times of clandestine lovers who know that the countdown to their separation has begun as almost as soon as they see each other.

I still keep the letters I got from family, relatives, friends and (ahem!) suitors. Nothing beats the feeling of receiving and opening an envelop—- the anticipation, the giddiness. Broad strokes of the pen, the handwriting that has become familiar, showing the personality of the person. I love my bestfriend’s Maryland- trained handwriting. Neat and precise. They were trained during elementary days to make their notes clean and clear. She’s our favorite Secretary! And we used to write each other letters even without occasion. Those youthful exuberance of sharing anything, of making cards and writing what we have talked about the other week- about crushes, family problems and just being happy for the company.

I’m fond of every item and the memories they bring. A person goes through life losing so many things; you want to keep what’s left. How can I throw anything away when everything has it’s own meaning?

Whilst the new technology gives us an opportunity to “communicate faster and easier”, so much have been lost in our memories. It easy to delete a message in a second. While it is romantic to tweet or post your feelings on her/his FB wall for the public to see and ogle at your affair, letters show your imperfections. As Ashton Kutcher wrote:

“We haven't lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a handwritten letter is greater than ever. It's personal and deliberate and means more than an e-mail or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it's flawed. There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance.”

So keep those pens and pad. Write. write. write.
Pick colorful notes. Take your favorite pen and write something for Someone. That would surely make his/her day. :)


Micamyx said...

I used to treasure letters din dati, pero nawala lahat dahil sa bagyo :(


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