And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls;
for thus friends absent speak.
I often ask myself why I want to share what I write and why I have such a need to communicate what I think, experience and feel. Why is it so important to be heard and understood? I think, for myself and for others, it’s not a matter of vanity or some sort of self-gratification, but a way of living life. When I don’t give my words to someone their life is over too soon – the words are dead as soon as they hit the page. My words are what I am, so naturally I want them to live.
People have communicated in so many different ways since the earliest of times first through art and symbols – as found in Neolithic cave paintings – and in music, which was so often the basis of ritual and religion. Stories and history were passed down through the oral tradition and then with the written word. From cuneiform script and hieroglyphs to pen, printing press and computers we have progressed through the ages. We have come a long way. Now we communicate electronically in quick, barely there sentences and often those sentences are incomplete. Even words aren’t spelled out completely these days.
I often think about the ways we communicate now. Being an introvert, I have a difficult time meeting new people and making friends. The friends I do have are few and very important to me. I tend to need them more than they need me and that causes a great loneliness. I wish I had lived in an earlier time, when letter writing was one of the main forms of communication – no texting or tweeting or instant messaging – just long, deep sentences, rich paragraphs, meaningful words. Life was shorter then, but time was longer. Life was slower. People took time to contemplate and describe their experiences, their impressions, their feelings. They took time with their words and penned them carefully. It was a form of art.
Art is creativity. I spend a lot of time in my inner world and the need to get outside of that and create and express things is very strong. I’ve experimented with different ways of doing this – painting, dancing, crafting, music – but writing is what I do best. I guess my motto could be: If you want to know me, read me.
Today’s brief way of communicating is unfulfilling to me. I long for someone with whom to have deep conversations with – someone to take me back to a more leisurely time and give me the opportunity to practice my art and my life. I often wonder what will become of us all if we forget how to talk?