Write Again…A death knell for letters

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.” So wrote John Donne, 1572-1631.

We, of course, associate him with “No man is an island . . .” literary renown.

There was something once I read in a professional publication – teachers association, specifically – that really connected with me: “Letters are the true heart talkers.” Just a short hand-written note can be very meaningful.

When one considers how very much the preservation of history, as well as contributing to authors through the years who write of history, and historical fiction, has enriched us in almost incalculable and diverse ways, it’s truly amazing. (An awkward sentence construction, but I think you understand.)

Just think how much would have been lost if there had been no letters kept. Thank heavens some held on to such keepsakes, be they of historical importance or simply personal reflections, love not being the least of it. A letter discovered after years and generations have passed can be truly a treasure. Truly.

The downside of these times, however, is disheartening. That is, it seems so many, perhaps most, write very few, if any, letters of a personal nature today.

Technology, this constantly evolving medium in its ever expanding forms, with all its wonders and myriad benefits on many levels, has almost sounded a death knell to letter writing. This is especially so among certain segments, demographics, of our society, our culture.

One may certainly wonder exactly what benefits future historians might realize in their research from emails, texts, and the like. Maybe there’s a cloud just for storage of such data. I wouldn’t know, for it’s a world that has evolved beyond my capabilities and grasps. And to think I viewed Google as the absolute ultimate in acquiring information.

That which I’ve written here suggests I have a hard time accepting change.

It’s more not liking, than not accepting, I believe. Change will come, always has, always will.

And truth to tell, probably, in most cases, fewer back then wrote letters than those who didn’t.

So it goes.

Anyone around forty or so, and younger, reading this would probably chuckle and shake their heads at my limitations.

That isn’t going to happen, though, because very, very few in that age range read this weekly endeavor. None, more probably.

But each of you, friends, is reading this now, and for that I thank you.

Shoot. After obituaries, weather, some nice feature pieces, photos, and other columnists, ‘Write Again” might be the next thing you read. Maybe.