Monday, March 23, 2020

Excerpts From Gift Of A Letter

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

"A letter is a gift."

Many good folks are creating a more focused and deliberate online presence and community during this world-wide season of isolation. They offer their unique version of pleasant and interesting material to help people feel supported and connected.
For the time being, it is my intention to join in this endeavour and post more regularly. I shall share excerpts from the many books on my shelves: to open them either randomly and select a few lines from any page, or to follow page numbers with calendar dates. I might comment on the chosen portion or just leave the author say it. You will find the button under the header to access the whole series. Tags: Creating Community In Isolation; Pressing My Books Into Service

Today I've selected excerpts from Alexandra Stoddard's Gift of A Letter. It's a book I've had for many years now, and every so often I read it to remind myself of her inspiring thoughts about letter writing, something I've enjoyed doing since my late teens. It's an art that I believe is never too old fashioned to be 'pressed into service' at any time, but perhaps especially now (?) as we try to stay connected with those we care about. Just don't lick the stamps or envelopes. It will also provide a creative diversion for ourselves as we adjust to our social distancing in our separate homes.

I hope you enjoy today's offering... 

March 23rd
Gift of a Letter
by Alexandra Stoddard

"Long before I dreamed I'd write for publication, letters were my chief literary outlet for self-expression. Then when I was sixteen and traveling around the world, I also started a journal. I remember being torn between writing to myself in a book I knew no one would ever read, and sharing my experiences with a boyfriend or parent. Eventually I realized that both forms of writing are life-enhancers--they enrich in different ways. I keep a journal for myself--to chart my growth through day-to-day emotions and reactions to people and events. I write letters to share with others my intense passion for life--my loves, my losses, my fantasies, my dreams. Letters fuse my fierce independence with my need for others. Letters make me happy."  ~ excerpt from p. 5
* * *
"When I write a letter to a friend, I bring that person into my day, describing domestic events, my mood, my attitude, colors and pleasures. A cut finger, my cold, news of my children, the weather, music, smells from the kitchen, are all shared. If I write a letter late at night in the intimacy of one lamp I tend to describe my surroundings and the stillness. If I write a letter from a restaurant I might describe what looks good on the menu. Scenes are painted, stories told that linger as long as the letter, and beyond.
A letter can be written for any number of reasons--joy, pain, neglect, love, lust, desire, loneliness, flight of fancy, disgust ecstasy--but always there is overwhelming need to share, to connect, to feel understood. That's why a letter is a blessing, a great and all-too-rare privilege. ... a letter holds enormous impact. Whenever one needs to feel close to a good friend, all one has to do is write a letter." ~ excerpt from p. 6-7

Wishing you a beautiful day.
Be safe. Be well. Be calm.


Heart Hugs,


  1. I've written in journals on and off for years. Maybe this time would be good to write in one again?

  2. This a lovely series of posts, finding these great tidbits from favorite authors and books. Across my path this morning came a quote from Mr. Rogers, "Try to make goodness attractive. That's one of the toughest assignments you've been given." I think that you are fulfilling the assignment in a most wonderful way, by concentrating on finding and sharing beautiful things with your world! Writing is hard work and writing well is even harder, but in these uncertain days your thoughts are a guiding light for many. Shine on, sister!

  3. I'm so enjoying your posts, Brenda.

  4. I love writing letters. I'm part of an online group called 'Bring Back Paper' & I'm also part of a local group called 'The Victorian Letter Writers Guild'. Between the two I write a lot of letters. This week I'm writing letters to all the little boys I teach Sunday School to. They are my favorite to write to because no one else ever writes to them & they sincerely love receiving them.

  5. I have spent much of the day rereading old letters. From my perspective there are precious few people who know how to write a good letter. 🙂 I slogged through many of them saving only the very best.

  6. I have that same Stoddard book and should look it up once again. Thank you for these encouraging posts, Brenda.

  7. I have an Alexander Stoddard book on my shelf...not this one but another. Writing letters is such a great way to reach out to those we are missing right now. Received a homemade card from a girlfriend who is in my Sunday School Class...we are all feeling the loss of being with those we love. Take care friend. Hugs!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo