Co-written by Simone Forsberg
The season of love has arrived and as everyone dives deeper into the thick of the year, we could all use a little revival reminder that we are loved.
If you have ever received a love letter, whether from your spouse, your best friend, your mother even, then you can certainly attest to the unparalleled way that love has with written words. Handwritten love is a love not expressed nearly enough these days. It is easy enough to send an email or a quick text, but the unique quality about love letters, as with any other writing, poetry or prose, is that they are made up of words -- words that belong to everyone and, at the same time, no one. A typed document looks the same as every other typed document; why risk the unfortunate possibility of an earnest love letter being mistaken for a cover letter or a mundane homework assignment? Love is not mundane; therefore expressions of love should not be either.
...handwritten notes are unusual. They take minutes (or hours) to draft, each word carefully chosen with no 'undo' or 'autocorrect' to fall back on. Drafting one involves selecting stationery, paying for stamps and visiting a mailbox. They indicate investment, and that very costliness indicates value" writes John Coleman for the Harvard Business Review. "Handwritten notes are a rare commodity. They're also more important than ever."
A handwritten love letter, made even more special scribed on a handmade, deckle-edged cotton paper, is authentic and one of a kind because we all possess a script that is unique to each and every one of us. Handwriting is more than a means to bring thoughts to paper. It has a personality and individuality that Lucida Handwriting will never possess, and it has the ability to translate love more personally and more beautifully than any preprinted, store-bought card ever could because love is in the imperfection. It is in the flourishes and the scrawl and the mistakes that turn into hearts. It is in the way your name looks in the familiar handwriting of that someone who loves you. It is in the slightly slanted lines and haphazard transitions from cursive to print and back to cursive. And it is in the way that the words "I love you," words that can pertain to anyone, pertain to you and irrevocably you for as long as those handwritten words remain on the paper.
Letters can, but need not be, long. Sometimes, one word has the power to explain it all. Other times, nothing can do your love justice like a three-page letter brimming with inside jokes and expressions of gratitude. There is even something heart-warming about a humble surrender to the inability to accurately express your love in so many words. But, however many words in whatever arrangement, be sure of one thing: that they are unequivocally true and straight from the heart. Now go write a letter to those you love next Valentine's Day!