Robert Grudin: On Letter Writing


#363/365 Paintings

Robert Grudin: From, Time and The Art of Living

“The simplest form of creative expression available to most of us is the letter. Letters may take us an hour or less to write; but a number of them {Plato, Cicero and Pliny the Younger} have endured for millennia. Whether we write for permanence or merely for communication, the act of producing a letter, even one never mailed necessitates a form of creative concentration that can improve our lives.”


I want to thank Janet Faught for the reminder today in our email exchange about the art of letter writing. It becomes even more precious in these times.

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  • WM Rine December 28, 2013  

    In a way, thinking about Grudin’s words and your image it makes me sad. I used to write a post-card every morning, as part of my morning, especially during times when I’ve lived far from any friend. I still have a lot of the letters I received back in file folders. But the emails I started writing in the late 90s sorta ended that, and most of those emails (even the early ones, which were more like letters than the slapdash 2 or 3 sentences now the tweety norm) have been lost over the years in email archives no longer accessible thanks to dead hard drives and outdated mail software.

    Your piece evokes nicely how a letter, rather than closing off an idea with a 1 or 2 sentence slap-dash, as an email does, so often invokes the broader, beckoning world. I want to crawl inside your collage and follow its leads all over the globe.

    • niya christine December 28, 2013  

      You know, this is what I felt as well. Letter writing – such a sweet way to mindfully connect with those we care about. I plan to do more of it in the future. There are so many people wanting it back.