I was given the gift of all my correspondence that I wrote to my family from about 1985 to 2001. Most of the first letters were written when I went abroad to Guilin, China during my junior year at college. After college I lived in Taipei, then moved to Israel in 1994.
My family gave me such great feedback about writing letters that I put my good energies into sharing my life and observations. I’m humbled that not just one, but a few family members saved my writings. My family reacted to what I wrote, taking my views seriously, making me feel like an important foreign correspondent.
I’m not being coy when I talk vaguely about my family, but many do not want their names, image, or any photo or artwork of theirs appearing on the internet. I will abide by their wishes.
The way our system worked, I would send a letter to a relative who would then photocopy the pages and send them to the others. Many of the letters will be hard to read because of faded thermal paper and bad dot-matrix printers. Getting married, the universality of email, living a set life, were all factors that ended the family letter system.
Now it’s easy to see how I became a blogger, having this background in which I shared photos and details about my doings. I’m going to begin putting my correspondence on the blog to preserve and organize these writings.
This period represents for me the divide between old-world and new, analog and digital. Now I do all art, photos, and drawings, on digital platforms. I feel a need to get this material on the internet, otherwise, I’ll burying it in storage and never see it again. I did this with my photos and the result was that I viewed them more often. Perhaps I’ll dig a gem out the faded relics.