|My Mom, Long Beach Island, NJ. September, 2005.|
I used to dislike email correspondence, especially when I held an actual job in an actual office.
Miscommunication. Misunderstanding. Immediacy mistaken for intimacy. But it became an necessary evil. Email replaced so many other modes of communication (telephone, anyone? or a face-to-face meeting?) that I had anxiety attacks after quitting my day job. I thought, How on Earth am I going to keep in touch with everyone?? Of course, my very mindful husband Dave supplied me with my very own home computer and I have since settled into a comfortable numb.
During these last few weeks, email has become my only tool of communication. I suppose it's brought out the writer in me, but I cannot simply send out a canned response to a sympathetic friend's inquiry about how I'm doing. I write and write, and sometimes rewrite, spell-check, and break out a thesaurus.
I'm lucky there have been a lot of emails in my inbox, ones filled with long paragraphs and beautiful words. These incredible people that I call friends write with their heart, constructing an embrace with the English language. I used to think that emails were curt little transmissions until now. My opinion has forever changed.
So this is a thank you to everyone who's sent me comfort in the form of poetry or images, passages from wise men or comedians with perspective. This is a promise that I will write you back, and it won't be filled with miscommunication or misunderstanding. And I won't press that send button until it is abundantly clear that immediacy cannot be mistaken for intimacy.