I appreciate all the blog friends I have made here, as all bloggers do (and even non-friends - the outpouring of love, prayers and contributions for blogger Stephanie Nielson by complete strangers warms the heart and reassures me as to the strength of human kindness more than I could have anticipated. I would be shocked if this story did not end up on Oprah). And I'm not sure who started it, but there's a reason the "Pay It Forward" posts are so popular these days. Sure, we all love reading and commenting on each other's blogs, and getting emails, and feeling that little connection with each other, but there is something so satisfying about receiving something (especially a non-bill something) in the real, live, postal mail. Some little treat, some sign that someone is thinking of us.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday night I met up with two girlfriends for our monthly "book club." I say that euphemistically: we have attempted (for a year now) to pick a book and read it together and discuss, but we never get any farther than "have you read this?", "what are you reading?", "I read that", "did you hear they are making a movie of such-and-such." And then before you know it we are on to some starlet's latest shenanigans, whether the waitress is ever coming back with more wine (because of course we hold these, ahem, "meetings" in a bar), Obama vs Hillary, Mad Men, and the state of our sex lives.
Despite of the lack of literary discourse, these get-togethers are food for my soul, as they are reminders of how precious is the need for human contact, how quickly time passes and how we need to savor each flesh-and-blood friendship. Work, family, chores, outside obligations -- the busy-ness of day-to-day living sometimes takes up so much of our lives that before you know it a week, a month, a year has passed and you and so-and-so never did get together. I try very hard to stay in touch with friends who are no longer part of my every day, but it astounds me how many friendships have faded away to just an annual Christmas card.
So, in the spirit of back-to-school, here is your homework. This week I want you to mail a little notecard to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, just to let them know you're thinking about them. Not an email, a real live piece of mail. Yes, you may have to go to the post office and buy a stamp (I'm partial to the Charles & Ray Eames collection and the Albert Bierstadt painting). Include your phone number and email, in case they've lost it. Maybe it will inspire them to get back in touch. Maybe it will just brighten their day. Maybe it will brighten only your day. But wouldn't it be worth it?
So write your note and then post a comment here of who you sent it to. You don't have to get too specific, I understand the need for privacy. You can be vague, as in "sent a note to former co-worker I haven't talked to in 2 years". Let's see how many little seeds we can plant through the postal system.