Monday, February 1, 2010

Letters and Kisses

What do a handwritten letter and a kiss have in common? Perhaps more than one might imagine. I’ve always felt that a kiss actually begins the moment you think about kissing someone, and that the prelude and wonderment of the gesture serves the purpose of extending that pleasure.

Likewise, the enjoyment of a card or letter starts with the wrapper, displaying my name in the unique handwriting of my correspondent.  And, like a kiss, I find the anticipation leading to the experience exciting and thought provoking. A mini mystery, if you will: a sealed envelope, delivered by a government agent, intended for my eyes only! Sometimes the color or texture of an envelope evokes a mood and can elevate my level of enthusiasm, with the stamp and postmark adding interest, depending on their point origin.

Clearly, I savor the experience of receiving old fashioned snail mail. With so many options for social communication, handwritten expression strikes me as a truly personal exchange. You might know people who have taken the task to the nth degree with, for example, a perfumed envelope and a lipstick kissed flap. For me, that person is Oma who used to send me cards whose envelopes were almost entirely covered with stickers! Although she died last year, I will always think of her with a smile, remembering the special way she brightened my days.

Of course, I also love being on the sending end of beautiful stationery, which in part lead to the creation of Petalos di Pauli. Over the past 7 years it has been a pleasure serving those who, like me, relish the experience of an almost forgotten art.

In closing, I'll offer a reminder: "Life is short" and encourage everyone to write often and kiss passionately. And may both expressions of sentiment leave lasting impressions on the people you love.

Paula Estes
Botanical Artist and
Promoter of Sentiments

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