Slice of Life: A Handwritten Note in the Book

(This is part of Slice of Life, a weekly writing activity hosted by Two Writing Teachers. In March, the Slice of Life Challenge happens. Every day of March, writers will find small moments to write about. You write, too.)

Note from Jim

A neighbor passed along a book about youth sports to my son, telling him to give the book to me. When I finally opened up the inside of the book, there was this beautiful note from my neighbor, a friend who has coached my sons in youth baseball over the years. We’re at a point in our lives where my youngest is now too old to play in the level that he coaches.

We’ve had many conversations over the years about teaching, about books (he is retired but worked in the library of the local VA Hospital), about kids growing up over the years, about technology for good and for ill, and about politics and more.

I was struck by the kind words that he wrote and also about how the physical writing (and in a book, to boot) has a certain emotional power that an email would not have had. This friend doesn’t like technology all that much, and uses computers at the library when he needs to do anything with computers, so it is no surprise that he would handwrite out the note.

Still … his note reminds me of our ongoing CLMOOC Postcard Project, where a handful of people are sending out postcards now and then to each other. Seeing words that have been written on the page by hand, as opposed to typed on the screen by fingers, still holds an allure, particularly when there is a human connection from reader to writer.

Peace (in notes),

  1. The handwritten word brings us into the kitchen of a friend, doesn’t it? I love the intimacy of getting handwritten notes.

  2. There’s nothing like a letter! Somehow the time spent composing on paper seems to add heft to the weight of the message–my bias, I’m sure! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kevin,

    Thank you for sharing. His words, “considerate conversation”, really really struck me. The kindness in fellowship with neighbors is invaluable. Relationships that support one another over the long haul of life carry us through. How fortunate you are to have experienced this treasure. Some may go a lifetime without.

  4. I love that! Getting notes from friends are lovely and intimate and meaningful. There’s something about that touch of pen to paper. Thank you for sharing!

    • It’s funny I should arrive here to comment so soon after Michelle, who has inspired me to send more notes like this!

      Reading your post I was struck by how powerful handwritten things (this note, the postcard project) can be. I wonder if that has always been true or if our digital world has changed it. In some ways it’s easier now to send a hand written note than ever before but less likely to do so.

  5. One of my dearest friends regularly sends cards of gratitude, encouragement and just plain thinking of you. Nothing fancy, just a couple of sentences I love, love, love receiving those special notes from her. Think I have saved them all. There is just something about a handwritten letter!

  6. Nice! I’m trying to figure out an appropriate “thank you” for my daughter’s hockey coach (she’s 5 and there are about 100 kids in the beginning skater’s program). A handwritten note might just be the trick!

  7. I have a cereal box filled with letters from my grandmother. Birthday cards from when I was young, letters from when I was in college and as a young adult starting to raise children… these letters are priceless to me. Wonderful post!

  8. Kevin, I have a postcard collection from the early 1900s that always remind me of life in another era where handwritten notes were powerful forms of communication. You are right. There is warm genuineness to a lovely handwritten note. I appreciate both digital and non-digital forms of communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *