Thursday, April 24, 2014
relying on the kindness of strangers
Blanche DuBois I am not.
Though, I frequently rely upon the kindness of strangers. In fact, I thrive on it.
Last February I wrote a post (loving the mail) explaining how I still enjoy receiving notes and letters in my postal box. Because there is a lag between placing mail in a drop box and having it show up in the recipient's hands, there is almost something timeless about the sentiments themselves.
Email and comments on Facebook, by their very immediate nature, seem to be temporary. Almost ethereal. They are stated, deleted, gone.
But cards and letters are designed to be stored in pastel-colored boxes. Perhaps to be removed only when the recipient's hands are trembling in a nursing home. Waiting for Emily Dickinson's Last Postal Coach to "kindly stop for me."
We bloggers often write about the interesting relationship between writer and reader. I knew some of my readers long before I started writing the blog. Some readers (and bloggers) I have met in person; in fact, I met one just last night. Some we know only through comments.
The vast majority of readers remain anonymous. They read without leaving comments. But they are still there.
One of those readers breached the imaginary wall last month. Early In March, I opened my postal box and found, by its dimensions, what was obviously a greeting card.
The handwriting was new to me. Cursive swoops that would be artistic enough to be the calligraphy on an invitation to the White House.
Barak had not invited me to a diplomatic affair to try out my new white tie and tails. Instead, it was a reader from Duluth. Way up north in Minnesota. About as far away in weather from Melaque as a place in The States can be.
Enclosed was a very artistic photograph adorning a note card with a greeting. And accompanying it was a long note.
A gentleman never reads another gentleman's mail (something the American government may want to consider), and a gentleman does not divulge the contents of his own private mail. However, I will share some bits.
You already know the sender is a reader. I was the recipient of the note as a direct result of my February post. The note then went on to say some very kind things about the blog -- including a compliment for keeping a high tone when replying to comments.
Every blogger loves receiving compliments like this. Including me. Knowing that we daily talk with strangers we never will meet is an interesting feeling. And, undoubtedly, there are people we tick off. We seldom hear from them. They just go away.
Having said that, I wish that more readers would comment. Such as, the note sender. Everything about the note reflected a person with taste and a very articulate self-expression.
And, of course, there is now another note on its way through the Mexican postal service to the slightly-warmer-than-February Minnesota clime.
The note did contain one question that I can answer here -- why am I so enthralled with the crocodiles just outside my gate?
Like a mountain climber, I respond: "Because they are there." I tend to like anything that is slightly dangerous. And the closer I can be, the better.
My neighbor told me yesterday afternoon that one of the small females has been up on the walkway looking for dry places to lay her eggs. I guess I need to be a bit more cautious when I go looking for ants in the dead of the night.
Or I may be relying on the kindness of strangers to recover what will be left of this blogger.