THE TREASURE OF A LETTER

 

Our mailboxes are full of supermarket offers. Our correspondence consists mainly of advertising and banking mail. Personal letters, friends and family letters are scarce. The receipt of a postal card – a greeting from the distance – has made me aware thatletters establish personal ties that break time and geography barriers.


It seems that the personal letter is relegated to the big events, but these are not frequent. Thus, we are losing the habit of writing. It seems that the frantic pace of modern life, the culture of the immediacy, the frivolousness and impersonality of the bulk of the information has confused us on the scale of values. Perhaps it is not duly appreciate the value of small events, which constitutes the structure of everyday life, and therefore the possible content of a family letter.


On the other hand, perhaps the television that minimizes privacy and absorb the abundance of printed letter or the verbalism of the politicians, which is so difficult to distinguish truth from lie, is doing that we lose the significance of the written Word. Also it could be that the individualism generated by a massed and consumerist society, together with a family uprooted (families are smaller and cousins practically not know), have been get us used to not receive or send letters, forgetting ties that are established between correspondents.


Perhaps we can have lost sight of the importance of a family letter. We do not appreciate very much the interest that a letter has to its addressee; but we appreciate in excess the content, what we are going to tell. The fruitless pursuit of the argument can often frighten, especially if we have no habit of writing: days seem equal, the professional activity without relief or the little family incident worthy of evocation; except for the person who is awake to capture the nuances of the ordinary.


The use of the phone has displaced the written communication, but actions speak louder than words. The letter is a permanenttestimony that can be read as many times as you want. Perhaps for this reason, its absence does not cease to produce unpleasantness in some cases: the lack of a testimony, company in the pain or joy in some events, the melancholy of the bride that does not receive the letter of her loved one or the sorrow of the mother waiting for the child.


While waiting for a letter, a mother is not pending of the news that might contain the paper which will then save jealous; its only reception satisfy her: her son lives and remember her; everything else immediately passes to second place, even when that content have value in the future: with the photo of the grandchild, the news of his first tooth, the photo of the bride; even for the collector of stamps or postcards.


Letters are turn into historical memory. With the passage of time, it will always be a treasure and a company, even in solitude, have a baggage of shared memories, know that we are active members of a family or feel closely linked to a group of friends near or far away in the distance, even if it is through the slight tie of a sheet of paper. My friend you will receive my letter tomorrow.


Agustín PÉREZ CERRADA

 

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