I wrote a letter this weekend, the old-fashioned way.  Pen to paper.  I even dragged out an old box of  parchment paper that had been gathering dust.  The act was not spontaneous: the letter was requested by a friend who’s at a writing retreat for two months.
    It felt good.  I wrote five pages, and my handwriting was not as bad as I feared it might be. I enjoyed the feel of the envelope in my hand as I trudged down to the mailbox.
    Letter writing in the age of e-mail, some say, is a lost art; they bemoan the loss of feeling as pen scratches away at paper or the dreamy stare into space as you compose your feelings into words.
    I’m not so sure.  The greater pleasure may be felt by the one who receives.  To open your mailbox and see — in the thicket of bills, junk mail, and magazines — an envelope addressed by hand bearing a familiar name, then tearing it open as you retreat into your home, the thrill is all there.  It is that which I miss.

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