The one, who writes on Facebook?
The one, who writes a blog, a diary?
The one, who writes letters, poetry, song?
The one, who hides his writing in a drawer?
The one, who writes, but never publishes anything?
The one, who self - publishes?
The one, who gets published?
The one, who writes a best - seller?
The one, who makes a living from writing?
The one, who does not care, but just cannot resist the urge to keep writing?
I always loved to write letters. Already as a teenager I wrote to people in many parts of the world, pen pals from New Zealand and India. The letters were on thin paper and lovingly folded into equally thin envelopes. You knew they had been transported by airplanes, but they were so light, they could as well have come flying into your mailbox just like butterflies.
When I started my life in Mexico, there were no private phones in town, just public ones and it took hours to get a connection, worse if you wanted to connect internationally. No computers, e - mail was an idea of science fiction and maybe not even that. I kept writing letters to friends and family in Germany. I poured my soul out on those pages, what had happened, what I felt and feared and desired. It took each letter weeks to reach the destinary and even more weeks to bring me a response. Each letter was a piece of a personal diary and precious. For a while I coud not afford the necessary stamps and that I suffere, more than just eating tortillas and honey daily.
Each letter I received answered my thoughts. Who had written it, wondered with me about the goings of life and its possible meaning. We were so far apart, yet so intimately connected through the words written on lightweight paper.
Today I am instantly connected with people around the globe. There is e - mail and Linked - In and Facebook and I dontknowwhatmore. Hundreds of so called friends mingle in these pages, most of whom I do not know how they look. We share mostly jokes, disagree over political opinions and quickly forget all about the whole encounter. What we share becomes ever shorter and on Twitter starts resembling an animal´s scream into de world´s emptiness.
My e - mails are much shorter than my letters of the past. Just the necessary things are packaged as tight as possible. If it gets too long, the receiver might get tired just looking at that chunk of words. What I receive is even shorter. I do not know anymore what my sisters and friends in Germany suffer or hope or dream. There seems to be not enough time anymore to share these deeper wonderings. One of my sisters used to write great limericks: she has not had time for that during the last 10 years. With my friend Elke we were into Philosophy. No time anymore, she just lets me know were she will travel next and details about her actual working project.
We are faster than ever in contact with each other and communicate with more individuals than ever during just one day, but the quality of our contact seems to have diminished dramatically.
Yes: A writer writes.....
A friend wrote me this:
"The German post company, once owned wholly by the government, but since several years in private hands, sends me once a month a catalogue showing their new stamps . This catalogue really sends me into temptation! Other women might not resist buying shoes, I cannot resist buying beautiful stamps! My drawer is full of beautiful stamps.
And when I write a letter, I am always trying to match the stamps to the receiving person or the main subject of the letter.
For quite some time I had been hoarding some gorgeous stamps showing illustrations of childrens' books. Every time, a letter was finished, I would take them out of the stamp box, would look at them, enjoy and finally decide that they just were not the right ones for this letter. There just did not seem to be a letter they would fit to.
One day, I received a letter with a beautiful self-made card. It was a wedding card. The daughter of a friend had married, in a private setting. The fotographs reflected the relaxed atmosphere of the couple, so comfortable in their love and radiating felicity. And it showed quite a round belly... The baby girl's name was "Sakura", cherry blossom season.On the back page of the wedding card, her charming smile greeted me. I sighed.
Finally, together with my congratulation greetings, my beautiful stamps had found the right recipient!"
A letter adorned with beautiful stamps can be such an object of beauty.
There are the stamps, there is your calligraphy, there are the color, paper and size of the envelope.
There are all the hands that touch the letter before the recipient does. This card in her envelope often goes through a huge adventure - it might travel the world - through cultures and climates. War - torn hands, happy hands and indifferent hands touch it, each leaving their traces...
We used to keep special letters in special boxes, which we adorned lovingly. Once an old lady told me that she had done that for decades with the love letters she had received. One day she read each letter for one last time and then burnt it in a private ceremony just with herself. Later she put the ashes of these letters in a special little cloth bag. "This bag with the ashes will be put by my family inside my casket once I am dead," she confided to me.
Where do you keep your special messages? In the INBOX? The OUTBOX? LOVELETTERS kept in HOTMAIL?
Instead of ASHES one day they will just turn into NOTHING!
After the long letters from the past, today I receive few messages in my hotmail box from family and friends in Germany.
They mostly all say the same: You don´t believe how much work collects on my desk while I am gone just for three days. I have soooo much work. I am soooo busy.
What they seem to complain about is at the same time their excuse for not writing more often, for not telling me more about their lives and feelings, it is their reason for never coming to visit me anymore and why they cannot see me very much, whenever I travel to see them.
Actually it is not a complaint, they are boasting: The fact that I am so busy shows you how the world needs me, how important I am.
I also understand it this way: That I am important in the world is much more important than our relationship.
Searching for my importance in the world and the meaning - the SMALL meaning - of my life I have been in that rat - race myself. It is a drug, I have felt the addiction.
Sayadaw U Pandita says in "A Perfect Balance": "The scriptures say that when the mind indulges in sensual objects, it becomes agitated. This is the usual state of affairs in the world, as we can observe. In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness. They never have the chance to experience greater joy that comes with peace and tranquility."
Art by Kiki
Kiki en TELEMUNDO