October 31, 2012

Journals, Letters and Saying what you need to say

 I've kept a journal since I was five.  It must have started as soon as I could write my ABC's.  So it would follow that I have an extremely accurate, albiet inconsistent and badly written detail of the last 30 years of my life.

Aside from the 18 months I spent as a missionary in Ecuador, there is very little I could bare to let anyone read.  Even in those 18 months it gets pretty sketchy when I got home sick, love sick or worried about my future (which unfortunately was more often than I'd like to be reminded.)  Basically... I'm a huge literary disappointment to my posterity.  Sorry about that great-grand children.

Last week I found an unopened letter from my dad written in 1985.  (You know those letters we write, seal up and put away in a time capsule.....to be opened and read in 30 years, and only in 30 years)  This letter was the real deal.  My parents had just finalized their divorce and my dad was living without his children for the first time in his life.  Naturally the letter is heartbreaking.  It is so full of love and sorrow that I could barely read it through my tears.  And voila...there it is....  one of the most valuable gifts of my life on a few flimsy pieces of paper written by dad at 35, the same age I am today.

Letters...remember letters?  The real kind....poor penmanship, scratched out words, rushed sentences because you just couldn't get your thoughts down fast enough.  The ones that made you stalk the mail man.  They were stamped and enveloped with drawings and sketches inside and out.  The ones that changed your whole day.  You'd carry them in your books and and read them a thousand times in bed.

Does anyone write letters like that anymore?  I don't.  What a shame.  Email is immediate, fast and convenient...but I don't put very much thought or heart into them. Do you?  Worse...in a world of facebook and twitter,  if it can't be said in 120 letters or less.....it just doesn't get said.  People I know I should SEE...should TALK to, SHOULD write, get a status "like" with a thumbs up, and we're good.

Initially, this blog was a place for me to give real expression to the growing wordlessness of my world.  Then it became my work...which turned into my burden and so I blogged less....and gave less of myself in my writing when I did blog.  

If I died tomorrow, how would my children remember me.  Yes. Totally Busted!  I'm one of THOSE "die tomorrow" people.  Here's the real kicker......I haven't written Nick a single letter in my life and we all know he has zero memory, so I'm risking being totally forgotten in about 312 days.  What am I doing?

How are we going to go through this whole life....(as long or short as it may be) and never produce the kind of treasure my dad gave me? It's not just my dad....I have hundreds of letters from my mother and sisters (sorry bro, I got like 3 from you.)  I have letters from friends with the truest expression of kindness and love that span YEARS.  They make me laugh and cry.  They remind me of what I used to feel and how I used to think.  Then suddenly they were no more.  It all ended.

I'm  going to change this....I'm committed to writing more for my own sanity.  Journal, Blog or write letters...it doesn't matter does it?......as long as I say what needs to be said to the people who need to hear it.    G'night world!


****SUE**** said...

You are absolutely right. I knew the mailman by his first name on the mish. There is a thoughtfulness and care in letter writting that cannot be compared to a quick FB comment or email. Thanks for the post...it got me thinking :)

F-A-N-G-U-P-O said...

Love this post Omi! And it's so true....things have changed so much and everything is technology overloaded and so easy....I miss the good old days where we used to write letters, or play outside instead of on video games....when I was on my mission, my dad wrote me only 1 letter the whole time I was out. I still have that letter to this day because it means so much to me. His fob dialect came right out on the paper, spelling and all and I will always cherish that! He emails me now, and it's just not the same because of spell check and auto correct and things. Oh, the good old days! :) Oh, and I think you're too hard on yourself...you're an awesome writer and I love stopping by and seeing something new on your page! Keep writing :)