... In other words, snail mail. Over the weekend I went to a couple mainstream bookstores in search of a letter set (usually a few envelops and writing sheets together with cute prints) and was disappointed to find no such stationery, even in the children's aisle where cute stationery is located. This disappointment quickly developed into an erratic fear overnight, thinking that the art of letter-writing is dying in today's electronic-based communication in the society.
I enjoy the time I spend writing letters, and this requires a certain concentration which turns into appreciation. There is an art to letter-writing because I know it is something I can appreciate. People who do not indulge in this satisfying little hobby do not know what makes penning a letter artful. To me, it begins with the choice of stationery. I put effort in selecting the right pen, the right sheet of paper, the right envelop and the right stamps; not to forget, the occasional embellishment such as stickers. After tinkering with stationery, I find the right time to write - because you just can't do it in a hurry. Putting thoughts to paper, there is a special feeling knowing that it will be read by whomever it is intended. I also decide on how the letter is folded into the envelop, imagining how the recipient would open it. Finally, when I choose a stamp, not only for face value, but also the print it has.
I do realize letters are meant to be a form of communication but there is more than just a physical object. The gratification is when I receive a reply, which usually does not appear until the following month or sometimes more, first reading and then I begin to pen another letter. I have appreciation for letter-writing not for its technicalities but because I perceive it as if giving away apart of me to someone and vice versa.