Thursday, January 20, 2011

oh cozy bed, how you tempteth me (letters)

Ah, but I have water polo practice in an hour, and a George Herbert poem to explicate aprés. Et puis voila: I will not be climbing into my sweet warm bed, but rather continuing to blink at my books. It was below zero when I walked to class this morning, and the high tomorrow is ten degrees. I just won't mention the low. Still, I am promising myself to take some photos of the frozen ground and snow while the campus is still white and beautiful. The ice freezes in gutters and pools and in the gullies along paths in such fascinating, dangerous, and beautiful patterns. I am also going to mail a few letters tomorrow that have been sitting on my desk for far too long. My challenge to you all (or you one, I never really know who it is reading - the marvel of blogging) is to write one letter or postcard this week to someone who you have not seen in person or spoken to in a little while, but whom you care about. As Garrison Keillor so perfectly explains in his chapter "How To Write a Letter":

" Such a sweet gift - a piece of handmade writing, in an envelope that is not a bill, sitting in our friend's path when she trudges home from a long day spent among wahoos and savages, a day our words will help repair. They don't need to be immortal, just sincere."

"A letter is only a report to someone who already likes you for reasons other than your brilliance. Take it easy."

In case you are still at a bit of a loss, as I sometimes am, about what to write, he kindly gives examples of the simple, friendly, honest, and earnest penmanship that go into a good postcard:

"One week in a steady drizzle of German and now I am starting to lose my grip on English, I think. Don't know what to write. How are you? Are the Twins going to be in the World Series?"

It doesn't take much. I'll do it too.

-------Garrison Keillor, "How To Write a Letter." We Are Still Married. 1989.

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