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WHO’S THE TYPIST BEHIND THIS BLOG?

I’m lucky. I’ve got major ADHD but I don’t suffer from “thank you note phobia” – if anything, I love letter-writing. I have plenty of other fears, but pounding out a note isn’t one.

I’m not a calm person, generally. I’m high-strung. Energetic. A lifelong insomniac who quiets my head with correspondence. The faster my fingers go, the calmer I become. Other techniques failed me. Transcendental Meditation – I forgot my mantra. I don’t understand how to breathe. As a child of a Holocaust survivor, I’m in perpetual “fight or flight”. Only when I roll a paper (not that kind!) into my typewriter do I truly exhale.

I equate letters with love. I felt adored as a little girl when I opened a special note from Granddaddy Al, sprinkled with Capitalized Verbs and Funny Adjectives. We corresponded religiously, and my final card was on his bedside table right before he died. It made me sad to see him go, but I was happy we shared so many sentences over the years.

I still feel “seen” when someone affixes a stamp to an envelope and mails me their thoughts. A text or call is great, but a letter – more than a diamond – really does last forever.

So I send messengers of gratitude. A pin-point of light in an often evil world. Thanks to Daniel, who rolls out our trash bins in morning darkness. To Ermanno, who fixes my beloved typewriter. To Cate, my youngest pen-pal (age 6) for a puzzle with her drawings on it.

There are always moments of grace I can capture, if I’m inspired. For Don, the busy recruiter who patiently answers questions about a career change. For Vivian, who comes out of retirement to knit me a lavender cashmere scarf. For Stephen, a colleague from an earlier life, “Congrats” on his Emmy.

I write quickly, like a sketch artist capturing a 20-minute nude pose. First draft, final draft. I don’t agonize if it’s not perfect. I’ve wasted too much time trying to get things right in my life, and I won’t do it here. Get it out. Etiquette says a “thank you” should be hand-written, but ‘something is better than nothing’ – so I type them because I do 110 words a minute and my handwriting’s gone to s—, anyway.

Some days I put ten or more notes in outgoing mail. I joke “I’m trying to keep the US Post Office alive”. But the truth is, the more I write, the calmer my head. Notes expand my world. Help me think and reflect. Transmit my gratitude. A thank you is as much for me as for you. But most importantly, it says:

If you get a letter from me, know you are loved.

                                                                                                                                                                             –Erica Gerard Di Bona

13 Comments

  1. Vic
    July 10, 2013 at 12:23 am

    I’m a new fan! Loves it Erica!

    • Erica Di Bona
      Erica Di Bona
      July 10, 2013 at 6:30 am

      You’re going to be receiving your own in the mail this week… I’m glad you like it.
      I haven’t gone public quite yet… so you’re an ‘early adapter’!
      Love,
      EG

  2. Christy Hale
    August 27, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Erica, you have hit on something so important. We do need to preserve this art. A handwritten or hand-typed letter received in the mail IS a love note. This post is beautifully written. You have quite a gift.

  3. Erica Di Bona
    Erica Di Bona
    August 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    And if I could get you to create stationery for me, we’d have a corner on the market!

  4. Sheri Goldstein
    Sheri Goldstein
    November 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Erica, you have truly inspired me and have reninded me again that it’s the little kindnesses, ( a thank you note) that truly touch the heart and make our lives so much richer.

    • Erica Di Bona
      Erica Di Bona
      November 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Sheri, My theory is every letter is an antidote against the harsher realities of the world. If one letter makes a difference in someone’s life, why not take the time to write it? Even if we don’t know what the words should be when we begin, if we quiet down and feel, they’ll flow… as a former script supervisor, I know you know how words on the screen can impact us. Same with a letter, just smaller. Love, Erica

  5. George Monas
    George Monas
    November 23, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Being a lucky recipient of several of your notes, this is a wonderful site and blog.
    I love you from the tip of my toes, every artiery of my heart and to the top of my head.
    xxxooo

    • Erica Di Bona
      Erica Di Bona
      November 30, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      George, you are someone who has the ultimate ability to create a compliment AND give it to the person while they’re standing in front of you. Not all of us can deliver the passion the way you do. I only write because I’m often tongue-tied. I admire your ability to feel it, think it and say it. It must be the New Yorker in you… is it?

  6. Louise Marler
    November 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Denise – I love what you are doing. And enjoy your style of writing. And WE do all appreciate getting cards in the Mail still. Thank YOU for doing this. xo

    • Erica Di Bona
      Erica Di Bona
      November 27, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Louise —
      You’re a typewriter lover as I am … and we share the same man — Ermanno, our beloved typewriter mechanic.
      I’m looking forward to meeting you at your event on Saturday. Feel free to give me the details on this
      blog so other people can come see your array of typewriter art, too! (You got my name wrong, though … it’s
      Erica… I know you abhor a typo, as do I… so am correcting you before we meet).

  7. Susan Konier
    Susan Konier
    December 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Erica, everything about your “opening” feels like you’re right here in the office with me; so immediate, so spontaneoous, so……you. Thank you so much for including me in this wonderful blog.
    I love everything about it and yes, I do feel blessed to have received several of your very cherish-able notes.

  8. John Wentworth
    John Wentworth
    March 11, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Erica! I’m loving your blog … keep up the great work … and I’ll keep reading. Best of luck and let’s hope other people log on to your humor, wisdom and classiness. xo

  9. William
    May 19, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Awesome.

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