Saturday, April 10, 2010

A guest posting today - Making Connections

I am not here. I am in South Dakota visiting my oldest bro. He has a new bar and wanted my other brother and I to visit for the night. We will maybe be gone 18 hrs, but I am happy to go. So, I have a guest blogger today

A guest post from 25 by 35 . Show her some love.

I have a new Pen Pal and I met her through our blogs. She has a blog about motherhood – though it’s not exactly a mommy-blog, it’s more of the identity-crisis variety, which is perhaps why I was drawn to her.

My blog is about losing 25 pounds by my 35th birthday, but I have had several blogs over the years and this particular person is the only person I know who is aware of all of them and has read them. So in a sense she knows me pretty well, all the facets of me. She swears she isn’t as complicated or complex as I am; I would disagree.

But there is something about putting pen to paper, creating ink words on a pretty piece of stationery, choosing to scribble or using your best handwriting and sealing the envelope with your very own saliva. It is something infinitely more personal than blogging, even though the subject matter is significantly less personal. What you choose to put on the two pages is telling, and the letter is touched by your hands, your eyes, your mouth and your soul.

Whereas blogging is diarrhea of the keyboard, a letter is special. It is an isolated event and it is a part of you that you give away. After it is sent, there are no edits, no second chances to re-read what you wrote, no looking back.

With blogging, you know people are reading but you don’t really know who. Even your commenters are cartoon characters; imaginary friends. But when I send my letters to Kate, I know that there will be a moment, whether it happens when she checks the mailbox or when her husband hands her a small stack of things addressed to her, that she will see that I was thinking only of her while I wrote this letter. Maybe it will give her the small jolt of electricity her letters give me; maybe I make too much of it all.

How this happened I can’t exactly say. She blogged about being lonely, or was it bored? I asked for her address. Yes, I think that’s how the story goes. So I sent her a letter.

I half expected that to be the end of it, but a week later, I checked my mail and there she was. Much more feminine and composed than she has ever laid claim to in her blog. A pretty piece of cream-colored paper with the silhouette of a lady walking her dog embossed at the top.

Blogging has been my salvation and my Achilles’ heel, the thing that sustains me and controls me. I love to write, I need to be heard, and so blogging is, in the end, a good thing.

But my Pen Pal is a new twist on the never-ending ways I seek connection with real, live people and I begin to wonder if one Pen Pal will ever be enough. I feel as though I could write letters all day, send them into the world and dream of a speedy reply.


Kate Hall said...

time to get a pen and paper...

Vodka Logic said...

Sounds lovely.. never had a pen pal as an adult.. closet is blogging and email friends.. a lot I have IRL

Great thoughtful post

Deb said...

One of my very favorite books, GIFT OF A LETTER by ALEXANDRA STODDARD is something I think you would enjoy too. Loved reading your post, kept nodding my head in agreement.

Leah said...

wonderful thoughts about letters. i tend to plan to write letters too much. i just need to have the vintage stationary readily available so when i think of a person i share it with them.

Will Burke said...

After counselling at a summercamp, I had several pen pals, and I kinda miss the historical romance of it that you describe.