Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Art of Letters

So I come home and find a letter from Nessa waiting for me. Letters are always nice. At the beginning of this year, I wrote up a storm, a letter a day, and I usually inserted an origami figure that I made.

Since then, I have grown lax about it....but this letter, which must be answered, fills me with delight. There is so much she has to say...and she takes five handwritten pages to say it. I notice that when people first begin writing old fashioned letters, there is a lack of ease and fluidity until they settle in to the rhythms, start an actual conversation, talk deeply about what matters to them.

Virginia Woolf used to write two or three letters every day in the morning. These letters were, more often than not, delightful. This was although she was on the telephone, meaning that she had one installed. It did not replace good old-fashioned letters, where news could be relayed with panache and humour.

This is Nessa's second letter to me and she seems to have relaxed into depth. I feel her emotions as I read it. Of course, that could be because she's a writer. But it could be because we've started a conversation across the miles. I delight in it.

And also pictured above is a book that I stumbled across in Borders. Jill Bolte Taylor's My Stroke of Insight which I can't wait to finish reading.

And there is the Kalahari Typing School for Men, the fourth in the series...it's an addiction, an obsession, pure pleasure.

I've finished my Martha Beck. But you know what? I'm going to go right back and re-read it.

That's how good.


  1. I really enjoyed My Stroke of Insight. A fascinating subject, cognition.


    1. I'm glad to hear you liked it. I'm still stuck in the science part and I can't wait to get on with the rest of the story. (I like stories, I don't like textbooks)

    2. (nods) The rest of the story is pretty good, and because of her grounding in science there is more of a tendency to delve into the details without getting mired in the mysticism of the actual experience (although being mired in the mysticism is not a bad place to be, either). Oh, I am trying to keep an online journal again (polyonymy.blogspot.com). Commenting was disabled to keep out random trolls, but if you'd like make fun of me I'll happily grant access. ;-)


  2. I would love to read your blog. Link me up. Because I'm such a busybody, you know I'll have to comment.

  3. Done! Comments are back on, and I have decided to leave the blog open to everyone since it is pretty obscure. If we run into problems with bots or trolls, I'll just handle it on a case-by-case basis. Om mani padme hum... :)