Yesterday I hosted a Lady of Letters Tea, celebrating the art of corresponding by hand. It is a tea theme I have wished to create for some time. I made invitations and I invited three friends over who are all uniquely gifted in writing letters and notes. As in most all of the teas that I give, I like to incorporate an activity as well as conversation questions to complement the theme. One of our activities was to practice writing with a dip-style pen. I recently made the purchase of several of these pens which were the writing implement of choice for the entire 19th century. Elegance effortlessly flows from these pens which simply eludes the ballpoint! I purchased beautiful bottled ink through the Levenger Company and was delighted to discover that it was made in America and the ink is of superior quality. I provided quotations for my friends to practice writing in handsome notebooks that they took home. One such quote read: "It is by the benefit of letters that absent friends are, in a manner, brought together." Seneca
As we enjoyed cups of tea complemented by cucumber, roast beef, chicken salad sandwiches, scones and cookies, we talked about the importance of both handwriting and letter writing. In the invitation, I asked my friends to bring along with them a letter or two that they received that was special to them. We read aloud excerpts from these letters. It was as if additional guests joined us at the table as we read these keepsake missives to one another. I also prepared questions to guide our discussion. Two questions were: "What is an early note writing or receiving memory? and "Do you have any letter writing rituals and how do you "set your table" to write letters?" Conversation flowed easily as we exchanged ideas, habits and personal convictions about the importance of corresponding by hand. Let us not forsake this art and opportunity to influence others through our beautifully written and inspired expressions.
Enriching home and family life, especially at the Table