Saturday, February 03, 2007

Riding the train: international envelopes

A young woman was sitting near me on the train. In her purse was something intriguing: international envelopes. Who did she know in another country? Family? Friends? How had they met? Was she from another country? Was she here alone? Why had she come? How did she end up on my train in Salt Lake?

It's so choicely excellent that she's a letter writer. How tempting it must be to resort to e-mail for correspondence when those you're writing are so far away.

Something about an international envelope, with its red and blue slanted stripes along the top, is perfectly romantic. The miles traveled are a testament to the importance of the words contained in the heavily stamped envelope.

The keen anticipation of receiving an letter is unparalleled, but tragically forgotten by most. There's satisfaction in carefully opening the envelope and reading and re-reading the message inside. (When was the last time you pulled up an e-mail and re-read it?) Letters are like journals and photo albums: the records of our existence which are, unfortunately, being overlooked in our fast paced lives.

Hopefully someday I'll have someone to send international letters to. And hopefully someday (sooner than later) I'll send more letters and fewer e-mails.