Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Epistolary Esther

This may seem self-indulgent, but I just realized that I am an amazing letter-writer. I say things I might never be bold enough to say in person (although I find myself growing bolder as I get older, which could be argued as both a positive and a negative), and I phrase things carefully, deliberately placing words in a way that would take others weeks. I do it in minutes. It comes naturally to me. The epiphany of epistolary prowess itself aside, I have also come to realize that I've been wasting some wonderful letters on the wrong people. You could write or perform in the best play in the universe--a brilliant amalgam of pathos and inventive genres--and if there's no one in the theater, it's just the tree that fell in the forest and was never perceived to have made an actual sound. So in a month marked by expressions of regret and half-intended resolutions not to repeat mistakes, I find myself crafting a challenge for the next twelve months: not to waste epistles on the unreceptive, or well-fashioned words on ears that resist their cadences. Letters will still be written, within the confines of my journals or eternally ensconced within drafts folders, because in most cases, the writing of such missives is an emotional purge for a wounded heart; sending them into the world yields unsatisfying responses, if any at all. A resolution so declared will likely be transgressed within a few weeks. But if I manage to resist that long, perhaps that's hope that I'll be able to kick the habit, for good.


Anonymous said...

Good luck. As the Talmud teaches, "Old habbits die hard".

I too probably express myself better in writing than orally. In my attempt to become a successful writer, I'm coming to the inescapable conclusion that people mainly read things that:

1. Give them an erection, or the female equivalent.
2. Will make them more money or allow them to work less hard or less long.
3. Get them free food, or at least make their mouths water.
4. Detail nebuch tragedies that have occurred to others, to make their own lives seen better by comparison.
5. Etc.

Should this not be taught in English writing classes in school? Just a suggestion.

P.S. Nice writing. The phrase "The epiphany of epistolary prowess" actually did #1, though I'm not sure why.

Lyss said...

You're a very good writer and set a good example at how to be witty but not silly.

Esther Kustanowitz said...

Thanks, Lyss. Stay away from gunshots.

And anonymous, I'm flattered. And yet, a little creeped out. But by this point, I expect that from blogging...