Sunday, October 05, 2008

I Wrote a Letter...

I have ALWAYS been known for my letter writing, my note writing.

Each one is personal, detailed, filled with the big picture and all the elements that make up that big picture.

When I spent half a year in Israel many years ago, I wrote lengthy, freeflowing letters to friends and family. They all commented on how wonderful it was to receive such letters, but not one person could write me a similar one in return.

Not that I wanted pages and pages of Toronto life, but I wanted morsels...and at least a couple of handfuls. Sometimes all I got back were a few crumbs. People were busy. Seemingly I wasn't...

Writing letters has always come easy to me. Doing so is easier than confronting a person at times; the invisible wall is up between you and the reader/recipient, but it is not a true barrier. In fact, that invisible wall allows for a freedom of sorts.

When people write thank-you notes for wedding gifts or engagement gifts, they write the same pat copy. I write warm notes intended solely for that particular reader, intended solely for what that person gave me. I've been told by many people that they love my notes, they keep my notes, they remember my notes...

When people lose someone in their life, I write notes of consolation; I dig into my heart for the words that will hopefully touch that person and console them in some small personal way.

I always try to make my words mean something to someone. They're not always supposed to be about me but rather, about the recipient.

It is my greatest pleasure to write letters; it is my greatest pleasure for me to touch someone with my words. It is my way of simply...sharing.

About ten days ago I checked out Facebook to see if a former classmate of mine was on it. I knew her birthday was around mine, and so I wanted to say hi and also wish her a happy birthday.

She was listed on Facebook so I dropped her a brief note, and she responded very happily, recalling that my birthday was also around hers and wishing me a happy birthday in return.

So I followed her note with quite a detailed lengthy one, responding to some of her comments and questions, and also simply catching her up on my life. It was no effort for me to do so; it just took a bit of time as I thought out my words.

I didn't expect a similar-length letter by any means, but I didn't expect this either, three sentences of a total six:

wow what a letter. i am intimidated to write you back. what a pleasure to read.

The fact that my letter intimidated her threw me; the compliment doesn't help pad that bit either.

I love making others happy with my words, but I never realized that I could intimidate someone with I call it "my talent" or "my strength" or even "my signature"?


rickismom said...

It's intimidating because she YES realizes that she should respond in kind, but may not now have the time.

I love the computer for letter-wring. I can write a lot, and then individualize for each separate recepient. mIt saves a lot of time. Maybe I should print it, though, at leasdt, on stationary? (Although I like the swiftness of email....)

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Letter writing is a gift. Sometimes people don't know what to say. There may be some jealousy at play.