My husband bought a Kindle not long ago. He loves it, and reads most of his books that way now. I, on the other hand, use it only when necessary and expedient.
I'm a book person. You know -- the kind of person who flips slowly through the paper, drinking in the heady smell of the freshly turned page. I love the feel and the weight of a book: I appreciate a smooth matte jacket, and I appreciate knowing both how far I've come and how far I have to go, just by eyeballing the location of my bookmark. But honestly, much as I work diligently not to contribute to massive deforestation, I'm probably just a paper person in general. At meetings for local civic groups, I find myself printing out e-packets just so I can write in the margins and spread them out all over the table. The leaves take up space and overlap and rustle in a satisfying way that electronic media simply can't. I love the three dimensionality of it, the completeness of the sensory experience. And there's less and less of that in my life these days.
In addition to keeping a paper journal, I also used to write letters. They were long, lovely, thoughtful affairs, written with the epistolary novel in mind, I think; I even had--and still have--a fountain pen and a wax seal to complete the romantic authenticity. I had several friends with whom I corresponded in this way, and I've saved many of their letters from those years, imagining some day a relative would find them and be able to mine my past from the perspective of another person. (I don't know why, but I felt more comfortable about this possibility than I feel about having my email read somewhere in the future. Why is that, I wonder?)
The other day, after I'd responded to a of hers comment on my blog post, a friend of mine promised a letter. She is an excellent letter writer (an excellent writer in general, but it is its own genre), and every once in a while, when she feels frustrated by the internet, or when it seems like it's simply not enough, she writes to me. I usually write back, and sometimes there are three or four letters before we lapse back into electronic communication.
It's been a while since we'd done this, and I when I got her letter, I went to respond, only to discover that I no longer had a single sheet of stationery in my house. It was depressing. Good letters are more than words; they are works of art, unique because of the paper you've chosen to write them on, the vulnerability of the author's handwriting. They're an important genre, a little window onto the soul that I'm not sure is the same in a published blog post.
I carefully tore a few pages out of one of my journals, and while my vegetables roasted for soup, penned a response, which may even have smelled just a little bit like garam masala and cauliflower and sweet potato. And I determined to go stationery shopping in the not-too-distant future. Because some art forms are too important to lose.
Did you ever write letters, and do you still do so? If you received letters, have you saved them over the years? How would you feel about having your email read some day, and archived in the same way that some writers preserved their letters? Do you feel like reading someone's handwritten correspondence is the same as reading their email correspondence?
adapted from Isn't That Sew
3 large sweet potatoes, 1" cubes
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 large carrots, cut into 1" rounds
2 T. olive oil
2 t. garam masala
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
Preheat the oven to 400. Toss sweet potatoes, cauliflower and carrots in a large bowl with garam masala and olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment.
Roast vegetables for 30 minutes or until just beginning to brown checking every ten minutes or so to stir, loosening the vegetables from the bottom of the sheet and avoid burning. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a large stock pot, saute onions and olive oil until just translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute one minute. Add broth, water, and roatsed vegetables, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining ingredients until smooth. (Add more water at this point if you like your soup less thick.)
Serve topped with toasted pepitas, or if you prefer, a swirl of heavy cream.