I’m cleaning out the office this month, which begins with cleaning out the closet, which inevitably eventually meant going through the big box of cards and letters.

Wow, we used to write letters a lot. Back in high school, and college, and post college. All these words, written by hand, send by mail, paper beginning to yellow and crumble. Logically, this should be no different from communication by email. But you know, while I save email correspondences, I don’t read and reread them fondly. They don’t bring back old friendships the way seeing the slant of others’ familiar, particular handwriting for the first time in years does.

This may well be generational. It may be that email does feel the same for someone even five years younger than me.

But every time I go through that box of old, crumbling letters–which give way mostly to greeting cards with a few quick words by the mid-90s–I find myself thinking: I should write letters more. I miss writing letters, for all that I hardly write by hand at all, anymore.

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