A Prehistoric Message
Dear old and new friends,
I’m glad you dropped by as I wanted to share my reflection on visiting; an activity that I’m sure is as ancient as our cave dwelling days. This primeval pleasure, because of the rapid spread electronic communication, along with our overly busy lives, may soon become an artifact in the Humanoid Museum of Ancient Practices. When I began to write my Haystack reflections my hope was that they might be a way by which I could come to chat with you over the back fence of the Internet. However, this intention had a major problem—it’s a one way visit. Lacking a secretary, I knew I wouldn’t be able to respond to every visitor’s comment and still have the solitude time to create new Haystack reflections. So, for those of you who have left a comment, know of my gratitude…and I thank each of you who grace me with your time and presence each week at the Haystack.
My desire that the Haystack reflections could be a way to visit you was to my delight recently affirmed by Rudolf Dietrich of Bozeman, Montana. Rudi is an unmet friend and a reader of my books who wrote me a letter about the Haystack, “Reading your thoughts is also like being with you, in your presence….” Would that each of you who visit this blog share that experience of Rudi’s, even if the message isn’t personally sent to your mailing address…which reminds me of Mark Twain story. It seems that one night a group of Twain’s friends in New York City, remembering it was his birthday, resolved to send him greetings. The globe-traveling Twain was away at the time on one of his many trips, and none of his friends knew his address. So they addressed their envelope to: “Mark Twain, God knows where.” Some weeks later they received this simple reply, “He did!”
“To my good friend, God knows where,” is how I’d like to address each Haystack and then through the miraculous wonder of the Internet I could come to visit you. As I previously said, electronic e-mails and texting are turning us into a letter-less people. Letters are tangible, personal experiences of the writer, so I encourage you to visit others by writing a letter. To accentuate it’s a visit, perhaps do not begin with the traditional “Dear…etc. etc,” but rather start in the same way as if you were appearing at their door: “Hello (name), I thought I’d drop by for a visit.” Then continue in a chatty friendly style instead of that of writing a document. Frequently visualize the face of the receiver of your letter, smiling as you write to them, and amazingly your letter can become a personalized visit. Actually, physically holding the paper on which the letter is written as a tangible object, instead of reading if off an electronic screen, increases its ancient power.
Well, I see it’s time I should go. Thanks for the visit, and God willing, or as our Muslim brothers and sisters say, “Insha’Allah,” I’ll drop by next week for a visit.