“Beware of exposing your secrets to Mother Nature and Father Time. The sea is boundless, if you expose your confidential thoughts to the ocean, don’t blame the waves for revealing them to the shore.” Judith Land
Communication is very important when it comes to the topic of adoption. Some letters and documents may become cherished possessions many years after they are written. The timing of knowing when, where, how and who to share your most intimate thoughts, feelings and fears with are crucial decisions with lasting ramifications.
I lament the fact that poetry, handwritten letters, cursive, and clear writing have become lost arts, relics—ways of communicating made popular by previous generations that are now a thing of the past. Many people in today’s world, brag about their multi-tasking ability and speed reading skills. They rip through news headlines, Facebook pages, sporting scores, and emails in one gulp, the way that a dog consumes a steak. I prefer to work at a slower pace, allowing time to reflect on the true meaning of words, the way that a caterpillar munches on a leaf one tiny bite at a time; believing that literature is meant to be relished, enjoyed in full, delighted in, and appreciated the same way that we delicately savor the delicious taste of sweets that melt in your mouth, the lingering smell of perfume in the air after a woman walks past, single piano notes floating into the air, and the comforting flavor and aroma of a favorite glass of wine in a Waterford crystal glass.
The primary problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. In this age of Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumbler, Instagram, dozens of social dating apps and social networking sites, casual writing is at an all-time high. Computers allow anyone to put themselves out there in crazy ways with no restraints. Modern communication has shifted entirely toward the informal and the difference between creepy and romantic has become entirely hazy. Casual communication without much thought often occurs by chance. Lacking a high degree of interest or devotion and showing little concern, intent or commitment, modern conveyance of ideas is often insensitive to the feelings of others. We seldom write in cursive anymore and pay little attention to the real meanings of words, classic literature, poetry, the lyrics to songs and quality writing. The social fears of ostracism, criticism and misunderstandings prevent adoptees from taking action or saying how they really feel about adoption with any depth or clear perspective, and when they don’t express themselves with clarity, dignity and honor, what they intended to say isn’t always interpreted correctly.
In this modern era, it is far quicker and easier to communicate with abbreviations, emoji, and acronyms than it is to take the time to thoroughly compose our thoughts, transmit our ideas, and clearly express ourselves from the heart. We are reluctant to use poetry to express a yearning for love and communicate our sentiments with the words of a song because we fear what others may think. Poetry is an inherently dramatic method of communicating tangled abstract thoughts and simple expressions of complex ideas. Songs stir our emotions, make perception inevitable, and leave residual feelings of satisfaction as understanding merges into appreciation. In this world of text messaging and emails, good old-fashioned handwritten love letters and valentines have become very rare special treats. Personal notes have evolved into commercial Hallmark cards and copied quotes. I cherish ancient love letters, poems and songs that cinematically paint images with words that clearly project the personal thoughts, perspectives and experiences of the writer to convey eternal sentiments and messages of love and hope—memories of a bygone era recorded somewhere in time in handwritten script on parchment paper and encapsulated in a faded envelope.
If you’re an adoptee or an aspiring author, try writing some of your thoughts on paper, the old fashioned low-tech way. Daily writing makes you smarter when you write in a cursive style of penmanship. Writing makes you think. Some studies even show that writing by hand increases cognitive activity and can actually make you more intelligent in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. The more you pay attention, the better your handwriting will be.