When I was in High School my best friend, Rebecca, used to show up with notes. Some days she pulled them from the front pocket of her bag, other days they were nestled in the pages of her work book, and a few times they were crumpled and stuffed in her uniform pocket. They were always from her mother. Some contained an apology, others an explanation but absolutely all told her how much she was loved.
When I was 10, my best friends little sister, after being reprimanded and sent to her room, would emerge hours later and leave a note on her mother’s pillow. They were often letters of apology, acknowledging her wrong-doing and how much she loved her mum. At the end of each note was a question “Do you still love me? Please check yes, or no.”
It might be obvious to say that I like words. I like them however I can get them, but mostly, I like them on a tangible surface – scribbled, neat, tall, curly, or connected. It doesn’t matter, but I generally like them in 3D.
Many years ago, after a few weeks of mutual flirting with the manager of my local cafe in Australia our entire dynamic changed with words. I was sitting outside, in the company of my weekend newspaper and morning coffee when the waitress came over with a little plate. On it was a chocolate chip cookie which she said was from my flirt buddy. Written around the rim of the plate in blue biro, however was a hand written note “chocolate chip cookies really make me smile.”
Fifteen minutes later another plate showed up, with a squashed marshmellow and more words “….but squashed marshmellow’s really piss me off.” Yes, it was that easy! (er…I was that easy!)
The written word captures time. It immortalizes a feeling. Sometimes the written word is the only opportunity we have to say how we really feel. For, while we have learnt language and have made agreements on how we speak and the words we should use which give meaning to what we want to convey I think it’s in the writing of word – the hand writing of a word – that gives us time to feel it.
Notes are important, whether hand-written or not. To tell someone that they are loved in a note is a gift that they have time and time again.
Below are some lovely notes I managed to find. Please, feel free to offer your own – even love letters you have received (I will publish anonymously if requested – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).