When was the last time you wrote a letter? Who was the last person to send you one?
The last two letters I wrote were in early 2010. The first was for my daughter's 21st birthday in January, the culmination of a multi-year project I began when she was eight. Then in April I wrote to author Amy Bloom to say how much I enjoyed her novel "Away". Last summer an old friend sent me a very brief note attached to an article on creativity he thought I'd enjoy. Aside from thank you notes, I'm certain that's it for written communication sent or received by me in the past two years except via this keyboard.
This is not a Luddite call for a return to some glorious past; I dislike those pleas. And besides, I'm a blogger for heaven's sake. But I do miss handwritten (or typed) personal documents; physical objects I can hold onto for a while. It's possible that's why thank you notes stay on my refrigerator a long time these days. I guess I could save printouts of e-mails. Does anyone out there do that?
In 1991, I wrote my father a letter to say how much I appreciated him. In 1997, going through his personal effects after he died, that letter was there in the original envelope.