More cards today. And of course a mountain of them when we arrived home the other night after our trip south. I find myself as always looking at the handwritten envelopes and recognising the writing - for not many of our friends have done as I have in the past few years and used a database and labels. Some of these friends I haven't seen for at least 35 years, and it amuses me to picture them still writing as they did all those years ago. One in particular sat next to me in several classes at school and I used to despair at the unvarying neatness of her writing under pressure: it is unvarying still. I can't imagine how she looks now; we don't exchange photos and we're not connected online, but this annual renewing of friendship still has the power to please.
I sometimes feel a pang of guilt at the ease of using the printed labels, but reassure myself with the thought that I write the cards and think of the recipient and scribble in a word or two of friend-specific news or comment. It's as if they exist in a different plane from the people I know in this medium, the ones to whom I shall Tweet my seasonal wishes and who make Santa hats for my avatar to wear, the ones whose every move is familiar to me but who only know me as Mrs B.
I shall be posting on love blooms bright again tomorrow; there's some more lovely stuff there to meditate on in a quiet moment.