Three Things: Handwritten Letter Edition
There is nothing so lovely as a handwritten letter. Although, with penmanship going the way of the dodo these days, perhaps it would be more accurate to say there is nothing so lovely as an old handwritten letter, with its spindly scripts and ink blots. But even with our unpracticed, hurried handwriting of today (yes, me too), a sentence written by hand always says more than one generated by ones and zeros: letters cramped with effort, or breezy and loose, slanting to the left or right, or standing straight and proud.
Old letters and postcards fascinate me: the challenge of deciphering the words (some of which will always remain a mystery), finding patterns in the letterforms, glimpsing a day in the life of someone I will never meet. This week, I’ve collected three letters, and chosen an excerpt from each, handwriting and all.
1856. “I wish you could hear my birds sing, they will be company for me when we go do housekeeping. I wish you could come down this fall, do you think of coming to see me before you go out west?”
1924. “I just feel a (not very strong) but persistent longing for you and a lurking heart ache, nothing like the hysteria of last week.”
1865. “[I]t is so cold to day the leaves are all blowing of [sic] the poplers [sic] around the yard. I must stop now, excuse my bad writing. [D]on’t let any one see this.”