Death of the love letter

I heard the most beautiful story on CBC this morning. It was about a couple who exchanged love letters  EVERY … SINGLE … day of their two year engagement.It was the forties, and they were artists. They dreamed together, they fantasized together, and they took the time to write their love down.

My heart smiled. I used to write letters, write them in airports, on buses, on cocktail napkins and long pieces of tree bark. I drew pictures – tiny representations of our worlds – and long winded poems about the psychic connections of people to stars. I LIVED it, and i WROTE about it. There was passion. There was energy.

I recalled the few love letters I had even written in my life. Something tells me I’ve written more than I’ve sent, as every couple of years I will find a flower and gentle words painted by candlelight, or a piece of off-center, purple-penned scrap. The stories that brought me to tears, inked. Cosmic history.


I got an email account in 1996, the year I began my first year of university at Concordia university in Montreal. I have to admit, I was hesitant. i think I had just finished Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, you know, the one where books are outlawed and there’s bookburners. And I was worried: what will be becomes of our words, our WORDS!

I was determined to keep my letter writing practice alive, and with a love and respect unmatched to that of any plastic box with keys and commands. But alas, here we are in 2010, and I find myself  feeling a bit incomplete.

I don’t even have an address book anymore. Facebook reminds me when my friends birthdays are, but there are so many that i barely take notice. Barely notice my friends? what kind of friend am I? And the status update: a bleep. Not a conversation, not a love poem. Frankly I’m put off by status updates. You’re getting ready to go to work. Um … thanks.

So I say, bring back the love letter! I try to write at least one a year to my husband, probably in a blank birthday card, but who I’m pretty sure will promptly throw it out with the unread newspapers piling up beside the bank statements. Too much paper, too much paper. Is this what our words are worth? The funny thing is, if it was an email, he would probably keep it.

I love you Mitchy.

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  1. I’m with you on this one, Mo. There is something so sweet in a love letter than can’t be replicated electronically. I wish it didn’t feel so foreign, though…

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