Monday, March 17, 2014

The Pen – Mightier than Cupid’s Arrow Too

by Christina Carson

Within the last two months, my husband Bert has renewed his association with something he’s been enamored with since Vietnam, the fountain pen. I smiled as he gifted me with the first pen (“fountain” is now to be understood) I’ve had in my hands for years, and as I began to refresh my penmanship with this pen, a flood of memories accompanied that gift.

You see letter writing was the cradle that rocked Bert and me into a beautifully loving relationship. We had met the night my boss dragged me out to a talk Bert and his partner were giving on a speaking tour. I didn’t want to go anywhere that cold, rainy night. I didn’t want to be there. So I sat far back in the crowd waiting until the talk was over. Then a small group decided to go out to supper with the speakers, something Bert rarely did, he told me years later. I had to go along because my ride was among them. I again sat as far from the crowd as I could to at least have quiet, if not my cozy book at home. But who should wander down and sit across from me but Bert. Our conversation that night centered on him being a Vietnam vet and me a war protestor as small talk had never been my deal. It was an extraordinary exchange, and from it, we decided to correspond with each other, as we had so much more to explore. Thus began a letter writing campaign that moved through exploring the war, to sharing our values and philosophies to the recognition that we had each found in one another a great love.

We filled 7 ½ journals; my Virgo husband-to-be coming up with a system where we each had one to write in and one always in the mail enroute. Our pens flowed, our thoughts flowed with them and then our loved flowed through it all. We wrote for 3 ½ years before we saw each other again, but the power of the pen sustained us, kept us in touch as ink flowed onto paper; for thoughts and ideas have a life of their own, a power to effect that appears to be enlivened by the act of writing them down.

Email is there, along with all the social media that exists and it has a place in 21st century communication. But don’t ever fool yourself. Nothing will ever replace the power of a handwritten letter to connect and maintain relationships or to be an emissary of truth or love.

Life is about connection. Come join Corresponding Writers and put some meaningful exchange, wit and friendship back into your life, through our mutual regard for handwritten letters. 

Mail Call

Every afternoon at the 214th Combat Aviation Battalion, Corporal Fleury raised the 4' X 4" shutter that covered the outside access to the mail room, and shouted, "Mail call," even though he knew without looking up from the task that he was wasting his breath, since every man not on duty somewhere away from the company area, was already standing a few feet away from the window, waiting and hoping that he would call their name.

Such was the power of a letter, or just the possibility of getting a letter from someone who cared enough to take out a piece of paper and pen and write a few lines.   A letter meant someone was thinking about you and they wanted you know it.  Hell, even a dear john letter was better than no letter at all.

The power of a letter hasn't diminished.  We have.  Think about it.  A New Age definition for a human is energetic being.  Without getting too philosophical, I'll say, if we are energetic beings, it stands to reason that we have available a measurable amount of energy at any one time.  The allocation of our energy supply is in our hands.  In this world of clamoring distractions, it's easy to give up energy with no consideration of the ultimate costs.

If you've ever said, "I don't have time," or "there is no way I'll finish this in time," or more wistfully, "If I just had the time...," then there's a good chance that it's time for you to recall your energy.  When you've brought it home, reevaluate your expenditure of energy.  Consider the investment vs. the return.

Here's a suggestion.  Use some of that energy to send someone a letter.  A real paper, pen, ink, and stamp letter.  If you want to know why, do this - as you pen your letter, bring all of your attention to the point of the pen and hold it there as you write.  When you finish writing, as you are folding the pages and putting them in an envelope, consider the experience and ask yourself if it was worth the energy you invested in it.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Double Dog Dare You To...

Double Dog Dare
When I was a kid, a very, very, long time ago, the phrase, "I double dog dare you," rang up and down our block more often even than one or the other of our mothers calling us in to eat, or go to bed, or do our homework.

A double dog dare stopped all play and all conversation, because it was important.  A double dog dare was, in fact, one of us kids challenging another, to just try something, something the presenter of the dare had usually tried him or herself and wanted to know what the kid being dared thought of it after trying it.

In that same spirit, I double dog dare you to write me (or anyone else on the list above) a letter.  Before you say something like, "I don't have time for that," or "My handwriting really sucks," or anything else that doesn't have anything at all to do with the dare, just go ahead, get out a pencil, pen, or crayon, find a sheet of paper and write a letter - write how stupid this idea is, write that you don't have time, write that your handwriting sucks, but write it on paper then click here, find my address, write it on your envelope, put on a stamp, and mail it.

I double dog dare you.