Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It was a lovely Memorial Day weekend on the coast. We arrived most of a day later than originally planned--I just couldn't do another touch-down-take-off after the Wilbur/San Jose runs in the days before.

But arrive we did on Saturday, and we pretty much holed up with Mom and Don for 48 hours. I did go into town with Mom and we toured her latest work and the other crafters at City Art, and shopped at the bakery and fancy furniture store that seemed like it had landed in Pt. Arena via style tornado from New York. Admired the shed and garden. We had Sean and Caitlin over for dinner that night, which was going fine until Don broke out the juice of the agave and M had to tell me the next day how the night ended. Sunday morning I had to remain horizontal for the first six hours until the migraine-hangover mashup blew over…but there was something oddly wonderful (if exceedingly painful) about being so incapacitated that it was all I could do to feel the recently felled pinecones burning in the stove at my feet, limply yet gratefully accept Mom bringing me bowls of fruit and mugs of coffee, and watch the "House" TV marathon from a prone perspective. I was sorry not to have walked on the beach or gone to the town pit barbeque as I'd hoped, however.

In contrast, Monday dawned pain-free and relatively filled with energy. M and I lazily gathered our things and cruised down the coast home. Continuing on my hermit way, I wriggled out of the party M was invited to with work colleagues after we returned home on Monday to try to fulfill a request from a college friend for memorabilia. I dug through a box of photos, some journals, another box of correspondence…and I got a little wistful. Missing a bit my long hair and when it was redder. I was reminded that I once thought of myself as a photographer. I spent time reading a journal entry from my trip to Turkey 25-um-ish years ago and felt a little hangdog at the snide comment I wrote about the vegetarians in my tour group complicating our dinners with their meat-free demands.

Combing through that box of missives I also got a little sad about the shift in communication this new millennium marked. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for all of the advances that allow for sharing of photos, movies, information and the like that blogs and Facebook, etc. all facilitate. But when I beheld that congregation of stationery, stamps, postmarks, envelopes, ink and their colors, handwriting…penmanship that's just as much a part of the person as a laugh or expression…I mourned the loss of that tradition-ritual-process in my life. 99% of the envelopes arriving in the mailbox these days are spewed from machines that don't have the slightest clue who I am. Like my journals that were written with minimal self-editing, unlike this blog (yes, I know, the journals aren't public, a big difference…), I wonder a bit at the letters I wrote and also received that probably had equally little editing. I recall when M and I were courting and how part of the delicious anticipation was sending a letter, estimating when he would find it in his mailbox, when he would respond, how long it would take for his letter to arrive. I remember very well that first letter I opened from him, and before reading it closely, assumed he was unschooled, his handwriting and spelling were so atrocious. And the happy surprise as I read what he had to say and realized that I was mistaken. I don't often see those unique characteristics of people in my life anymore. I miss them. Ah well.

Off to gym bag packing, Musketeer adventures, and dreamland…


At 11:29 PM, May 27, 2009, Anonymous M said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

At 5:11 AM, May 28, 2009, Blogger elm said...

I agree, the loss of hand written letters, and the gain of really more communication.

Ahh, self inflicted misery. Not much to do about it, but wait.

At 6:31 AM, May 28, 2009, Blogger bren said...

Just think of all the letters we have from our parents, Jan, and us, for that matter, that we wouldn't have if they had communicated via computers.

And I was so glad to have you and Mur here, Suzanne.

At 2:19 PM, May 30, 2009, Blogger Nancy said...

When I met Mark, I was about to move to Oregon for grad school, and we wrote letters to each other for a year. And I still have so many letters saved from friends over the years. I remember going to the college bookstore to pick out stationery, and there was this teal-colored paper with a faint pattern in it that I was absolutely in love with, and what a pleasure it was to write on it. . . I miss all that, too.


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