A Time for Handwritten Notes and Other Niceties

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  • By Janet Eastman, The Oregonian/OregonLive
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A Time for Handwritten Notes and Other Niceties

Connect with those you care about with a handwritten note.

Since you have extra time while you’re staying home, set yourself up for socializing, the polite, old-fashioned way. Conjure Jane Austen or John Keats, sit at a proper desk and express your sentiments using a fine fountain pen and handmade stationery.

Sure, it will take longer than an emoji-laden text, but it’s also more amiable. The recipient will appreciate the uniqueness of a handwritten letter and you will enjoy the praise. Besides, April is National Card and Letter Writing Month.

Shaky on where to start? Make the acquaintance of Jennifer Rich, the owner and buyer of the most polite retail establishment in Portland: Oblation Papers & Press, a letterpress print shop and hand-papermaking studio that sells custom invitations to refurbished vintage typewriters.

The doors to the step-back-in-time shop at 516 N.W. 12th Ave. in the Pearl District are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus crisis, but online photographs and descriptions will transport you to a welcoming world in which personal notes are sealed with wax and stamped with a brass seal.

“We are delighted to foster this venerable art of the handwritten letter,” says Rich, who started the niche business with her husband, Ron, in 1989 to sell handsome cards and letter sheets from around the world that help connect people to one another.

“Today we need this connection more than ever,” says Rich.

She has found that writing a letter provides these pleasures:

  • To allow you to pause, embrace the recipient in your thoughts and offer unexpected joy into their day as they receive a personal note in their mailbox.
  • To feel the contact of pen on paper as you work line by line down the sheet, reducing anxiety and increasing mindfulness as you accomplish this task without rushing.
  • To slow down, which helps you to formulate thoughts, allowing distance in time and space between each word, and calling upon a more soothing set of neural pathways than when typing on a keyboard
  • To remember the treasured stacks of letters your parents saved. Now is a poignant time to show you learned this valuable lesson.

Read the full article on The Oregonian's website here.

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