This January I removed Whatsapp and Facebook messenger from my phone and told everyone that they could reach me via short text messages, phone or post. I am blessed with family and friends who indulge my crazy whims so I’ve received an extraordinary amount of postcards and letters this month. It’s been wonderful!
Personally, I love writing snailmail. It allows me to leave a few days to respond to a message and give it proper attention. Writing back becomes a delight rather than another to-do. I can use pretty stationary, take my time and write something long that does justice to the topic. (I just sent my grandfather a full page essay on my re-reading of Emma). But also from the people who aren’t as paper-chatty as me, receiving post felt extra special. I was touched that my uncle sat down to write me a few lines about his holiday, or that my brother sent me a touristy card from his city with his commentary on the odd pictures they had chosen for it. (De apenrots, anyone?!) Somehow, this means much more to me than a quick ‘hi’ on Facebook.
I never look back through my Whatsapp messages, but keep almost every postcard I am sent. (I have some hoarding tendencies when it comes to pretty paper things.) They become treasured memories that I can look back on five years later to feel nostalgic about. I still own letters from people who died or friends I drifted away from, as a reminder of the time we spent together more tangible than a message somewhere in the cloud. As we Dutch would say: Wie schrijft die blijft (He/she who writes remains).
Thanks so much dear writers! ❤️