Australian Mail

18PENPALS-articleLarge

Did you see the beautiful essay by Mark Vanhoenacker in the New York Times this past weekend? Its called Dear Emma… and its about finally meeting his Australian pen pal from childhood for the first time, face to face.

Speaking of Australian pen pals, have you read Geraldine Brooks‘ memoir, Foreign Correspondence? Brooks grew up in Australia and was curious about the world beyond her hometown. Pre-internet, her world view was formed by the pen pal relationships she maintained with kids in other countries. Later, as a foreign correspondent, she tracked down her pen pals and went to meet them for the first time, face to face.

Illustration by Jason Logan for the New York Times.

texting

On the occasion of my niece’s first birthday I went back and looked at the group text message thread my siblings and I sent each other as my sister Hope went in to labor for the first time. They are so funny and sweet and made us all feel closer, even though we were in different locations. It was our first birth by text! I loved it so much that I sent the players a transcript of the day and half long┬áthread. It reads as a potent reminder of that time, the kickoff of┬áthe first year of parenting, a huge and exhausting accomplishment.

On the other end of the texting spectrum, have you seen Werner Herzog’s short documentary film, From One Second to the Next? It is about texting and driving and the fatal results of that combination.

Texting is a fantastic way to communicate, even between contractions. So fun! So immediate! But not when you are behind the wheel of a 4000 lb machine, because fun and immediate can very quickly become tragic if you hit someone with your car. And your phone.

Viva (responsible) Texting!