Saturday, November 22, 2008

The need to say it~


I live happily in my own head, content and entertained by my own ponderings and observations. This outward look/inward analysis serves the writer in me well.

I'm a bit isolated during the time it takes to transfer words from head to paper. The process requires uninterrupted time while the download takes place.

Usually I listen to the words in my head and type them-- an easy flow from mind to lap top. Who needs a pen and paper these days? I ignore a multitude of distractions around me to the point that my husband will complain, "You don't remember a thing I tell you."

Huh? Has he spoken?

It's not that I've forgotten, exactly; it's more like I never heard him in the first place. I could well have looked him in the eye while he told me he had a meeting at six o'clock, but my look would have been the vacant stare of a sleepwalker. I may even have nodded and given an affirmative mmm, hmmm, but I didn't absorb a thing. The thread of my own thought was still running in my head, blocking anything else from penetrating. And it must be that way, or I'd lose everything I need to say.

Need is a strong word, but it feels like a need. I write, and in the process clarify something for myself. And the best of circumstances what I need to say resonates with a reader who lets me know.


Today I got a hand-lettered envelope, rare in this day of email and junk mail. The note, a thank-you, read:

Dear Ms. Douillette:

A dear friend, 87 yrs. young, ten years older than I, always gives me her old CSMs and I am reading the September 23 issue today. Your article Citrus-Scented Love has great meaning for me. Thank you for writing it.

The way the brain remembers fragrances and associations connected to them is a beautiful mystery of life.

Warmly,
Helen

She included her email address, but I'll send her a real note like she sent me-- the old-fashioned pen and ink kind. I'll tell her how much it means to know that she felt what I needed to say. And I'll pay it forward when another writer's words resonate with me.

12 comments:

Wanda said...

Oh Ruth, how beautifully said, and how precious the handwritten Thank You note.

I started painting my watercolor note cards because I love the feel of ink on paper...thus I love writing notes on my cards.

I love email..... but when I open the mailbox and a card with handwriting is on the envelope, the other mail gets tossed on the table to look at later...

Thanks for a wonderful reminder that some things from the past are still loved and appreciated.

Love and Hugs
Wanda

Rozel said...

You always have such great timing with your post. Today I ran into a guy that I used to correspond with via mail. Yes, real letters and that was my first thought - we used to write letters. Then that thought reminded of two other folks who used to write letters to me. One a dear friend who was in boot camp and the second, a boy I met at church camp. He used to put cologne on his letters. Oh dear, that just gave me the giggles. We are so funny when we are young and infatuated.

RiverPoet said...

I think the handwritten word says so much. I'm glad you decided it would be worth your time to write a handwritten note to the person who sent you a Thank You note. It truly is becoming a lost art!

Peace - D

Janice Thomson said...

My Aunt always sent hand-written letters even though she had a computer. I looked forward to them so very much so I know how you must have felt when receiving yours.
Your article brought tears to my eyes as a similar situation happened between my parents. It was Chanel #5 in their case and mom sprayed it around the room not knowing what it really was until father cautioned her about wasting it. She vowed she wouldn't touch it for another two years LOL. I too watched it slowly go down. To this day that perfume reminds me of their love for one another. Thanks for the lovely reminiscing.

Linda said...

I'm afraid that handwritten anything in my case is unfortunately near illegible as I can't even read my own handwriting these days. It was never very good to begin with and since spending most of the last 35 years on some sort of keyboard, it has gotten even worse.

Still, nothing beats a handwritten note or letter as it shows how much thought the sender put into the act of actually sitting down and writing to someone. It is most definitely a lost art - just like regular letters are as more and more people turn to email. I used to love to check the mail when I was younger, now - not so much as it's generally just fliers and bills. Sigh ...

Wanda said...

Hi Ruth~~
Please stop by. I have given you a "NO obligation" award on my blog ~~ I just know my readers would so enjoy your posts. I'm sure some will come by from the link.

tim said...

Good for you for answering her back. It's fun to get fan mail, especially the pen and ink kind. How did she get your home address, I wonder?

Leslie: said...

Oh Ruth! No wonder she sent you a hand-written note. I just read it and I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Your piece certainly does have depth of meaning in it.

I have perfume sitting in my bathroom cupboard that I haven't used for ages, but maybe this Saturday I'll dab a bit behind my ears. Come on over to see why! ;D

sc morgan said...

This was so great, Ruth. I laughed at you and at myself. I really don't hear what was said to me by my dear husband when I am in one of those brain to keyboard moments, either.

How much of life do you suppose we miss, trying so hard to record the part of it we did notice? Laughing here in Costa Rica.

But see, it reaches out and touches someone you don't even know... and that letter is proof of it.

It's hell to live with a writer.

Pam said...

Just bought a beautiful fountain pen last week, to hand-write notes. The sales girl mentioned that no-body buys them anymore. I'm yet to use it. Hope I remember how, and that the ink doesn't smudge. All part of revisiting the past and enjoying the adventure!

The Dutchess said...

Hello..nice to meet you..I found your blog to be VERY interesting and I am going to take time to explore..:) Greetings from Holland

TheElementary said...

This is a marvellous story about writing and the importance of recognition.
"And the best of circumstances what I need to say resonates with a reader who lets me know." I just loved that line. Reading your words, I can well see why somebody would need to write and tell you :)