how are you? I hope that you're in good health and in a good mood. Both are almost as important for the reader as they are for the writer because they have a share in whether you’re in the right or in the wrong frame of mind for a conversation. If you don't feel well, it might influence your opinion on the letter you just received or on the person who took the effort to put pen to paper to join you in words. Being swamped with work waiting to be done or being absorbed in the cycle of your daily worries can be just as harmful because you won’t be able to appreciate or even enjoy the letter. You’d better give me and my likes your full attention. So please take your time, empty your mind… and then read this.
Don’t get me wrong. Writing snail mail letters isn't about sharing only good news and pleasant feelings with someone who is living far away. If you ask me, a good pen-friendship actually has a lot in common with a marriage. It means sharing your life in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. Of course, someone who never wrote postal letters will find it hard to believe how close you can feel to a person who you might not even have met face to face. Despite all I can assure you that a good pen-friend can help you through hard times with nothing but words of understanding and support or sometimes even without words when there’s nothing to be done except being there for the other. I speak from experience!
The fact that snail mail correspondence isn’t an immediate means of communication even is an advantage. In an e-mail or in a facebook post you often write down anything that crosses your mind at the very moment, even if it’s something that you wouldn’t think of anymore a short while later. When you handwrite a letter, you do it with more care. You decide whether an information or comment deserves being recorded or if it would just bore your pen-friend because taken out of its time context it’s of no importance nor interest. Maybe that’s just another reason why postal correspondence is looked at with something like disdain today. You can’t just kill your time with it, but you need to put a lot of thought into your choice of topics and words.
At this, dear reader, I leave you and allow you some time to think. I hope that you had a good time in my company.