Sometimes it’s just an image. Other times it may be a bit more, like the delicate penmanship which caught my eye the first time I saw these old Czech letters and just knew that I had to have them. I believed the illustrations to be drawn on, but in fact they are some sort of stationary – which is just fine because they are lovely nonetheless.
I have not read my old Czech letters, and I do not know who they are to or from, but I do know that I love the images and that there are a few recipes I am just dying to try out enclosed. If only time was not so scarce!
Of course what initially caught my eye was the colorful illustration and lovely borders on the above image.
But then I also noticed the fine lines of the handwriting.
Did I mention that I had the #1 school award for penmanship three years in a row? That was back in the days before “everyone is a winner”. I remember how I sat practicing my handwriting for hours on end…
I love this kind of thing, don’t you?
Although ephemera can refer to any transitory written or printed matter, the word actually derives from the Greek ephemeros, meaning “lasting only one day, short-lived”.
These have lasted almost 100 years because someone, like myself, took the time and the care to reserve them.
In the past, people may have written letters and accidentally shed a tear on the note, or sprayed their favorite perfume on a letter to remind someone of their scent. Perhaps a lock of a loved one’s hair or a pressed flower might have accompanied such letters.
In today’s digital world, none of this can be done.
I think many people in this generation fail to note the value of the handwritten word, and its beauty. I cannot believe they will not be teaching cursive in schools… a sin.
Did you know that long before fiction or drama were regarded as literary genres, letter writing in China had a special place in written culture?
That’s right, Calligraphy further elevated the written letter to an art form even more highly ranked than literature.
Yet nowadays, the art of letter writing, even in China, is increasingly threatened by SMS text messaging and Email.
Everyone has the same “handwriting” when it comes to typed-in digital correspondence, and therefore changes in tone and emotion can’t be conveyed as easily as they can in a written note or letter.
This breaks my heart.
Being the case, family members and historians of the future may have a harder time figuring out exactly what we were trying to say to each other, how our lives unfolded, and what was important to us.
Of course, then there are people like me…
People who try to digitize such treasures and somehow preserve them for future generations.
Those who wish to somehow preserve the past and all the wisdom, tradition, culture and beauty it holds.
It’s sad that these days, so much of our communication is done using technology.
Times surely aren’t what they used to be, and most people today would rather text or email rather than sitting down to write a letter.
Unfortunately, these methods of communication leave very little behind, causing others after us to never really know what our life was all about at any given moment.
We lose our history this way.
If you love old mail as much as I do, you may want to get yourself this little key chain. Just click on the image to be taken to the purchase page. Only $4.99.
I hope you enjoyed my sharing my old Czech letters with you and invite you to scan or send your letters or photographs, especially if you no longer want them. We’ll likely digitize them and then pass them along to the location archives or museum.
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