Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Mean, I Have To Wait?!

I just wrote a letter. I'm perfectly delighted by it. The act of writing letters is every bit as rewarding as I had hoped that it would be. It gives me an opportunity to express myself in long form, which is (apparently) my favorite thing to do, and I can make a precise connection with another individual in a way that nourishes us both.

Here's the problem. My letter will take DAYS to get there. This -- belying the idyllic past-century portrait that I'm trying to sell you above -- makes me feel nothing less than insane. The postmark on the letter that I'm answering is November 3. It arrived here on Friday, November 6. I didn't get around to my reply until Monday. That actually felt fairly efficient given all the other things that can get in the way...like, for example, this blog. I am sending my reply today, in Tuesday's mail, and it will arrive in Boise, ID, probably on the 13th. That's ten days from message to reply. TEN DAYS. I can't wait ten days. My life changes in ten days. In ten days I might be completely done with this letter-writing thing and on to making origami.

Then again, maybe origami is the solution. Every time I feel an impulse to check the mailbox -- so similar, I'm finding, to refreshing one's email page -- I could sit down and fold a paper crane.

(Paper cranes in the windows... Paper cranes on the bookshelves... Paper cranes in the bathroom...)

I hope everyone around here likes paper cranes.


Dustin said...

I'm a compulsive crane folder. I use squares torn from receipts, the foil wrappers from cigarette packages, random bits of jetsam. Some of my favorite cranes are from candy wrappers... Tootsie Pops make lovely cranes.

What's your mailing address? I won't fill your box with folded paper, but I might get around to mailing Christmas cards this year. I think you'd be a delightful pen pal.

Esther said...

Dustin, I'd love to exchange letters with you. And I have decided to get a PO Box for the purpose. Will post on that soon. Send me a crane.

I am also delighted to see that you have successfully commented, which means that others may be able to as well. I changed the comment options, and maybe this is better.

Kiki said...

I am completely getting into Book Art - picked up a Book called HOW TO MAKE BOOK and am folding paper like crazy. Instant books rock!

Jennifer said...

Wait a minute - you're going off the internet, and you don't have a mailing address, either? Are you going to ditch your phone, too, and call this experiment "My Year of Living Underneath a Rock"? ;)

Dustin said...


Your post about the post has had me really thinking about mail again. Not bills and catalogs but real letters. It has me wanting to take out that sheaf of letters from WWII that my family still has... handwritten missives from "the war" that travelled across the ocean as the only way of keeping in touch. Scores of pages, probably hundreds of hours invested in writing them. Surprisingly, not a single emoticon in the whole batch.

And then last night I realized something that I had forgotten in my addiction to e-mail: Yesterday, the "mailman" took a day off! No letters, catalogs or bills because of Veteran's Day. I didn't miss it, but I bet my great-aunt would have...

Of course I thought this would make a poignant postcard. (OK maybe a blank greeting card -- I'm always a little wordy.) But I didn't have your mailing address yet. Besides, there was no mail carrier yesterday... ;)

Esther said...

Jennifer, of course I have a mailing address! But I talk about my kids a lot on this blog and am enough a product of 2009 not to want to post my physical address on the internet. Is that weird? Is that just me? I tried to get a PO Box but the post office near me has a waiting list, so I'm still working on it. I'd like to have correspondence with people.

And yes, it is my year of living under a rock. It's a very nice rock, I think. I'll tell you all about it if you write to me. :)

Esther said...

Thanks for the letter, Dustin. But I think maybe the ;) was out of form?