Pen Pals: A written community…
To me, a community is a place where you feel safe and valued. While there are many physical places where I am lucky enough to feel like this, my favourite is a community that only exists between two people…
Let me explain further:
I have a pen pal, someone in another country who I write letters to. Not emails or texts, snap chats or facebook messages but honest to god, pen and paper letters with stamps and postcodes. To me, there is a community here that only exists for the two of us, like a giant tunnel fort between the two places we live that only we can access. I know it sounds very war-time to write a letter to someone in this day and age of technology, it probably sounds romantic as well, but it’s not, not in the traditional sense of the word anyway. The romance lies in the actual writing of the letter, not what the letters say, but in the fact that I have written and waited at least 2 weeks before my friend, my very close friend, can read my thoughts and ramblings.
We write about our lives and our travels, where we plan to go and what we want to be. What’s special about it is that you can’t be a pen pal with just anyone. You have to have someone who respects the process and the intimate nature of what you’re doing. They have to feel the same excitement that comes from finding a letter with an international stamp in their mail box, otherwise the community will fall apart.
I believe that everyone should have at least one pen pal in their lives. It’s a connection that you can’t get from anything else. Writing down what you have to say makes it so much more real and honest, you have to own up to yourself because you can’t lie to the paper.
This is my community and I’m happy to be a part of it. I hope I always am.