We have a black 18th century bureau plat (writing desk) with a red and gold tooled leather top that is one of my greatest treasures. By itself, it is an object of beauty but its function is of equal if not greater importance. It's drawers hold bundles of ribbon-tied letters and 18th century French hand fans that speak of love, poetry and clues of what the past held and the future might hold. It is a majestic moment to sit at the desk and carefully untie the ribbons that bind the letters and the many carefully chosen words that lie therein. As memory fades a bit with each passing year, I am so grateful for the written word so that I can close my eyes and feel a special moment come back to life.
I worry that with people writing less and less, we will have more difficulty in remembering all the small nuances of certain times of our lives. Like printed photographs, letters give us a snapshot of a moment. And further, the written word allows us to close our eyes and give our own visual interpretation to the memory. "Love you again" can play over and over in my mind and take me back to the time when Camille was 10, I was 41 and my mother was 79.
It is my hope that my thoughts will inspire us all to sit at a desk from time-to-time and with a pen in hand, write the words to one another that will become precious investments for the future-- a way to capture and rejoice in times past.