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The last mailbox : question/prompt

Written by washwords on April 5, 2009 – 2:50 pm

I’ve been thinking today about disappearing mailboxes. USPS mailboxes. They’re fading.

["Lonely mailbox" by dsaint on flickr]

ML was the first to point this out to me, when they came and dug up the one around the block. Then I carried a netflix rental into the grocery store to ask for their mailbox and found, nope, they didn’t have one either. Nor did the plaza with the CVS, or the spot over by the library.

Of course, my office has one but it made me think about supply and demand and the lost art of letter-writing. And that made me sad, though I’m as guilty as anyone. Heck, writing email seems too slow, writing a letter brings to mind molasses and boots in a windstorm.

And yet… letter writing is how I connected to my pop-pop, as a teenager who’d just lost her dad: finding a surprising and much-needed friend. Letter writing is how I communicated with first loves  and last loves, when I wasn’t brave enough or wanted more permanence than spoken words would allow. Letters are how to say thank you or sorry or “you’re invited” properly.

It’s similar to my thinking about the kindle ( Kindle 2: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) : no no no, paper books must remain!!! There is something to paper and ink and opening your mailbox to see handwriting, familiar or strange – it means something, more than electronic transmission can convey.


Question/ Writing Prompt: What was the last (snail-mail/real) letter you remember writing or reading? Why does it stand out?

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Posted in wash, words | 72 Comments »