Woe, oh young generation!
Where are your love letters in the age of pocket tweeps and tablet bluzzes!
But that’s just it, with everything preserved on some drive, some data centre somewhere, how do you distinguish, box and preserve your relics? Perhaps the fact that your passionate Instagram may eventually be part of collage to revive the Juicy Fruit brand, plumbs new found depths to your feelings?
However, if in 20 years you have to plough through a gazzilion texts, emails and Facebook postings — piles of puppy pics, LMFAO’s, “I don’t believe my parents won’t let me” and “NO, we’re at the booth on LEFT side of the bar” –would you ever find the important stuff? If you put it in a separate file folder, wouldn’t it be so easy in a fit of pique to hit “Delete,” and then “Yes” and boom something else created is now instantly consumed by the never satisfied maw of oblivion?
That’s the unfortunate corollary of e-texts efficient production – easy destruction.
Love letters, you have to pick up throw out – decide whether they are suitable for recycling or are more appropriate for the byre anyway, with some ritualistic fire.
Takes effort to take love letters to oblivion, which offers plenty of opportunities for reflection and reclamation.
Because they are objects, they are artefacts — every piece. As much meaning is evoked in the paper chosen, the roses pressed, the locks of hair snipped, the concert tickets and transit transfers tossed in between leaves. The width of the circle above the ‘i’s, the flourish of the signatures, the doodles and sketches in the margins…
If by some chance, someone is reading this who is in their first two decades of life allow me to offer this advice; give priority to girls who can draw. In such cases, fall in love with abandon. The relics alone are worth it. In my own utterly unscientific sampling of two, you can expect much fraught passion, projectile dodging, late night phone calls and even suicide attempts.
I think back to my spotty, scowling self of my late teens and early twenties, with my poet-shirt pretensions (oh, yes indeed I had several), second-hand store certainties and sagging waistline and I wonder what on earth could have inspired, calligraphied envelopes, with flowers pressed and sketches enclosed.
… and what sketches!
Perhaps one should not go so far as to marry one (as I did) but if you can inspire some sketches… especially some that would panic you in the same way a porn magazine would if the children entered in the room unannounced 20 years later – it is damn well worth it!