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Archive for December 2nd, 2010

Abandonment Issues

Posted by Dirck on 2 December, 2010

I have previously spoken out against pretense, yet I am here about to admit to an extremely stupid manifestation of it in my own conduct.  I conduct several correspondences with people around the world.  I do this in part because I’m anxious not to become locked into my own way or my locality’s way of thinking.  The pretentious element is a notion of sympathetic magic, noticing that H.P. Lovecraft kept up a vast correspondence and look at his literary reputation.  I should, if I were smart, look at his literary career, then burn all my stamps, but sometimes I’m the opposite of smart.

Writing letters is still writing.  Writing lots is, some vast excresences not withstanding, one of the ways to become good at it.  I write to know my writing better.  That’s the story I should stick to.

I have, however, not done much writing lately in this direction.  I’ve not received a letter in ages.

I do not blame, though.  For a start, I’m given to rather leisurely composition (or rather, my son insists and forces my wife to also insist that I pay attention to other matters), and if I can cling to a letter for two weeks before mailing it I can hardly fault the person at the other end of the chain for doing likewise.

When the delay begins to draw out, though, there comes an element of worry.  Has the letter gone astray?  Gone down a sewer?  Been consumed by nesting Postal Gerbils?  Have I somehow inadvertently offended the correspondent?  Has the correspondent gone down a sewer or been consumed by gerbils?  In almost all cases, the only reliable contact information I have is the address, and sending a follow-up “Are you OK?” note seems extremely needy and/or pushy.

I have non-postal word from one of them that my letter got neglected in a tide of bills, and that’s understandable, and I know another to be engaged in an effort to wrestle grad school into submission, and so don’t want to press.  I suspect at least one, in England, has since the 2008 economic follies been forced into a choice between stamps and food, a choice with only one obvious correct direction.  For the others, I am apart from the needy/pushy worry restrained by Canadian manners.  We, or at least the we of my generation, wait our turn.  It’s the same sort of thing that has us apologize when you step on our foot.

But… I’ve not received a letter in ages.

I think what I will probably do, since the season favours it, is launch a mass of seasonal greeting cards, and see what comes of it.  This indeterminate mass, which me may label X for convenience, can go forth on in the spirit of seasonal good will, and hopefully will bring forth the gift of renewed visits from the postal carrier.

I just hope I don’t get a writing cramp(us).

Today’s lonely pen: Conklin Glider
Today’s slightly pathetic ink: Lamy blue-black

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