Letters to the Universe

old-letters-2238537_1920I was not an English major.  My heartfelt essays in high school often came back redlined, oblivious of the content.  My love of reading and journaling came from the only English teacher I liked, Mrs. Geselschap from my junior year.  She let us read what we wanted and often suggested great books.  The journaling habit continues to this day.

I could always write decently when required, yet it was not something I chose to do, especially majoring in the natural sciences.  So I’ve wondered as I have become a writer in my 60’s, with words oozing from my core, where did the ability to express myself in poetry and prose come from?

I have traced this way back to all the letters I wrote as a young woman.  This was in the pre-digital era, the choices for communication limited to expensive telephone calls or letters. The journaling segued into letter writing as I headed off to college and later to Alaska where I spent 10 years living an adventuresome life.  I’d write letters over a span of several days, expressing volumes of thoughts and emotions. Then I’d cast them off into the mail hoping for a response.  When I received a letter, it was such a precious personal gift to read the words of a friend or family member in their own hand.  A handwritten letter is in a sense an artifact of another human being.

Communication is instant now.  We have email, texting and social media at our fingertips.  I think we have lost something with the quantity of communication we have.  It’s convenient but lacking in soul and substance.  Will we judge historical time in the future by emails people exchanged?

Now that I have become a blogger, I’ve realized that in some way,  my blog posts havemilky-way-1023340_1920 become my letters.  The difference is that they are written on a computer and are addressed to no one in particular. Perhaps they will never be read at all like a message in a bottle. Still it I find comfort in writing them. It is good to know that my words are out there somewhere, hoping to connect. They are my letters to the universe.

The Letters I Wrote

The letters I wrote

were long-winded affairs

often written over a span

of several days


The letters I wrote

Documented the life of a young woman

Creating her own story

Capturing her memories through

Eyes of naivety and wonder


The letters I wrote

Were on the front and back of yellow lined paper

Filled with sentences of artistically formed print/script

Awkwardly folded to fit into small white envelopes


The letters I wrote

Taught me to express myself

Painting my world with just the right prose

So my adventures and emotions

Could be projected into the minds of others


The letters I wrote were personal

A living memoir cast into mailboxes with stamps

Later to be read, perhaps discarded

Or tucked away in old shoeboxes in dusty attics

Inviting the recipient to write a letter back to me


The letters I wrote

Helped me make sense of my life

Recording my hopes and fears

Anchoring them with words on paper

I needed them, and still do

But no one writes letters anymore



9 thoughts on “Letters to the Universe

  1. Love this! You have expressed a sentiment that I have felt for quite some time now. We have that instant connection now that we never used to have and long gone are the days of waiting for word from a loved one. Like you, I loved writing and receiving letters. Email just doesn’t cut it, and texts are abrupt and to the point. There is no meandering and lovely descriptions. Besides, they aren’t saved to paint a word picture of someone’s experiences over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The irony is with all this “time saving” technology, we are busier than ever! Back in the “old days” I always seemed to find the time to write a note or a letter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I bet your letters were delightful. I hope you were able to keep some of the return letters. I have several letters my grandmother wrote to me in college. And the letters my dad sent my mom when they were first married and he was off trying to finish his degree. Very precious. Thanks for sharing this memory and sparking mine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have some letters that have been given back to me after years. Talk about a time capsule! Then there’s the letter my parents forced my then 12 year-old-older brother wrote to me when I was off to summer camp in the 5th grade. We laugh about it still.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What beautiful writing you craft! And how sad, really, that the red pen of grade school can wield such power – squelching creativity and impacting life choices. You have many years yet to bless others with your creative outlets, maybe some undiscovered!
    🙂 Barclay

    Liked by 1 person

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