Writing Letters and Nepal

Full Text Sharing

I’ve started writing letters to friends and mailing them at the post office.  This entire process takes patience especially when my thoughts run much more quickly than my hand writing, the short hours at the post office, waiting in line and wondering as to whether my letter will arrive at its destination. In a world of immediacy and accomplishment, writing a letter makes me slow down and think more about the person that I’m writing to. This process also reminds me of Nepal.

Writing a letter means paying attention to penmanship, something that I never really developed, and being in the moment, as opposed to typing on a computer simultaneously holding numerous chat sessions.  My writing is the same as when I was 10, it is difficult to read and I alternate between printing and hand writing.  However I must write as legibly as possible for the reader’s sake, causing me to focus. 

Computers have made my writing legible and instantaneous.  If I’m thinking of someone or something I can immediately write a note, push a button and the other person no matter where they are in the world can read what I’ve written.  However, writing a letter involves a slowness, writing more in-depth and with more thought as I can’t delete without making a mess of the paper, as well as a greater investment of time and appreciation. By the time the person receives the letter it might be “old news”, but the piece of paper can be held and examined over and over without having to turn on a computer.  Mailing and writing a letter does cost money and possibly “wastes” paper but I’m always intrigued when I see an old letter or postcard trying to imagine the setting. Letters offer diversity, mine especially offer messiness as I’m often crossing out words which I can’t even read and doodling with my silly smiling faces and pictures trying to embellish certain thoughts.

I was recently in Rasuwa District with Nepali colleagues working on a livelihood project.  It’s pretty messy; we plan but things go in different directions and take their own time, there is an uneven pace to the work as we walked on very uneven paths through forests and over hills   to communities in a number of Village Development Committees (VDCs).  Once we arrived there were meetings sitting in circles, where similar to reading a letter people were very attentive, taking their time to understand, examine and ask questions, holding on to what was said.  Patience being at the core of everything, a certain, lovely slow dance.

As taking the time to write and read a letter can build a relationship, so does sharing meals lovingly cooked over wood fires.  Taking a number of invitations, there was nothing to do but wait, talk or be silent while the food was being prepared.  The slowness and smells put me in the moment, longing to eat, but also enjoying just being.






Position: Lover of Life-Change Agent

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.