How To Write Love Letters
The heart speaks a language which no words can capture. The words approximate the feelings but they are not the same.
Knowing this, we begin by saying that a love letter is a letter written to approximate a feeling which you wish to express to another person, and something that that person can always go back to. To fully express that feeling you have to be with the other person whose feelings match yours.
And yet, love letters mean so much. Because there is always a part of you that is carried with a hand written letter. Writing a letter by hand is a lost art, and therefore, any letter written by hand is precious.
When I was really young I remember a movie called Love Letters. It was a film about two people who broke up and each wanted to get back the letters each wrote to each other. The question who owns the letters?
There is a song by the Lettermen called Love Letters and I will only quote the lines which mean most to me
"Love letters straight from your heart keeps us so near while apart"
"I memorized every line. I kissed the name that you signed. And darling then I'll read again right from the start. Love letters straight from your heart."
I don't know how to write letters anymore. Sometimes I have a hard time reading my own handwriting! The email is so much easier and faster, and besides, the email does not show how long it took us to write it.
All letters come from the heart. One has to appreciate the feel of the pen and the linen paper. There is a ritual that comes with it. You have to take out your pens, decide which one to use, take out the box of linen, decide which one to use, in contrast to just sitting in front of the computer and typing away.
I used to exchange letters with someone a long time ago. They were not love letters per se, just a correspondence between long term friends.
He studied calligraphy and I had kept his letters for a long time but decided there were too many personal things in his letters that I would rather not share with anyone, so I destroyed all of them when I moved.
We had lost touch and he simply did not want to communicate with me by email so if I want to hear whether he is in Brazil at the Carnival or in Siguatepec or somewhere in the Carribean, I have to write him by hand.
He demands it and expects it. In fact, he told me so in the last email "What happened to us? We used to write each other." He meant by hand. Oh, but I have nothing exciting to write about my life! So how can I write? What would I write about?
The last time I wrote a personal letter it took me almost four hours and several discarded linen sheets and now I remember why as I open my journal and think about it.
A letter, written by hand is so immediate, so demanding of you to confront your thoughts and feelings and in a way so scary. Every letter carries with it a part of you. An email can be erased by simply hitting the delete button. A handwritten note, a letter is semi permanent. It can not be undone. It is a record of someone's thoughts and feelings at the time it was written.
And this is exactly why my friend who travels a lot, demands it. He is after all who he is. And he has a right to do so, because no matter how busy he is and no matter where he goes, he always writes back, by hand.
And so how do you write a love letter? You write what is in your heart and you do not go back and edit the letter because sending that letter means an implicit, immediate, and titanic trust with the person you are sending it to. Trust being a solid foundation of romantic love.
© 2009 by Melinda M. Sorensson
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