Henry in one of his many many love letters to Anais, dated March 21 1932:

Anais, I don’t know how to tell you what I feel. I live in perpetual expectancy. You come and the time slips away in a dream. It is only when you go that I realize completely your presence. And then it is too late. You numb me. […] I don’t know what to expect of you, but it is something in the way of a miracle. I am going to demand everything of you – even the impossible, because you encourage it.

Anais in one of her many many love letters to Henry, dated March 26 1932:

I love when you say all that happens is good, it is good. I say all that happens is wonderful. For me it is all symphonic., and I am so aroused by living – god, Henry, in you alone I have found the same swelling of enthusiasm, the same quick rising of the blood, the fullness, the fullness… Before, i almost used to think there was something wrong. Everybody else seemed to have the brakes on. […] I never feel the brakes. I overflow. And when I feel your excitement about life flaring, next to mine, then it makes me dizzy.

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I wish I lived long ago. Not in 2011.

I’m not cut out for this era. Technology wears me down.

Yes. I have 2 smartphones charging beside me in bed while I type this entry in Google Chrome on my mbp on my lap. 10 tabs including this one are open. Emails. YouTube. Tumblr accounts. Searches. You could say I’m lucky. I barely have to get out of bed to get work and play done while being thoroughly connected.

When I say “thoroughly”, it isn’t an overstatement.

BBM. Whatsapp. SMS. MSN. Skype. KakaoTalk. LINE. Facebook messages. Twitter replies/DMs. SIX email accounts. I would NEVER be able to fall off the face of this earth. Even if I wanted to, assuming I wanted to.

Truth be told, while I don’t know what I’d do without all these conveniences and this level of connectivity(nothing figurative about my assertion that I can’t live without my Blackberry), I sometimes wish I live in a time during which NONE of these exist.

Even as I word this post, when my Blackberry blinks with all sorts of notifications, I reach for it to check and reply; when my iPhone vibrates to alert me on Whatsapp messages, emails, Twitter replies, I reach for it to check and reply; when the song I’m listening to stops, I go to YouTube and click replay or search for a new one. Then I come back here to continue where I left off.

I am SO distracted. And more than that, I’m drained from being an every-waking-moment slave to all the gadgets I wanted in the first place. I’m totally addicted and I CANNOT STOP. Unless of course I go cold turkey on technology.

It would be excruciating to have all my gadgets taken away, not gonna lie. But I think that is ONLY because I’ve been exposed and grown accustomed to them.

What if, just WHAT IF, I lived in the 1930′s? Just like Henry Miller and Anais Nin.

I’d have to write. Manually.

For the life of me, I can’t remember the last time I put pen to paper and inked out a letter. Can you? (Signatures do NOT count.)

Imagine if I have zero gadgets, zero distractions, and half a day to read a handwritten letter and to write one back.

I dare not and do not want to think about how much the quality of my writing would improve. When I have oodles of time and my attention is undivided, I can truly focus on pouring my heart and head out into a single handwritten letter.

It’s no wonder love affairs of times past were so intense and everlasting. And “I will love you forever” was actually believable and not just a cheesy movie line.

Regardless of time period, communication is the heart of love. Here in 2011, how do we communicate?

I’m SMS-ing you “imu” while reading a Facebook message from some old acquaintance asking for my MSN address while getting bombed by my Whatsapp group chat in which I lost track of what they’re talking about some 20 mins ago cos I was kaypoh-ing on status updates in BBM. And in the 10 mins you take to reply me, I go on Twitter to catch up on the tweets of the past hour and 2 of the people I happen to be following are engaging in a heated tweet war with replies with screenshots and links which I click on and get myself caught up in the drama. When you reply me “imu 2″ 10 mins later, I have clean forgotten that I texted u “imu”, much less how I felt when I sent that text. Not knowing what to reply cos I no longer feel like I miss you, I end this SMS convo with “Ok ttyl! x” and go back to losing myself in more Twitter drama, Facebook chats, BBM chats, and back to my group chat on Whatsapp to ask for a summary of who said what.

If you’re still with me here, please scroll up to the top of this entry and compare the above paragraph to the passionate exchange between Henry Miller and Anais Nin.

In decades long ago, writing to someone was all about letting the words deliver your heart and soul over the distance. You pour your innermost feelings out in as many and as colourful words you desire. You let your pen fly off the pages because you just have so much to say and you only have the chance of this ONE letter to make known your love before you wait days or weeks for a reply. Thoughtfulness, patience, assurance, care, admiration, worship, desire, longing, intensity, passion. LOVE.

Today, on top of the distractions of technology and its demands on us, we’ve also been trained to communicate in an entirely new fashion. SHORT Message Service: 160 characters. Tweets: 140 characters. Even when we are granted new avenues to express our feelings/thoughts, eg. Facebook status, BBM status and the like, they ALL have character limits. Technology has made us impatient and lazy. In emails and other communication medium where there isn’t a ceiling on the number of words, we use acronyms, short forms, and standard emoticons in place of words. It is exactly the same on the receiving end; nobody now has the patience to read lengthy tedious messages/emails, regardless of content. Case in point: how many of you made it here?

You see now why I don’t wanna live in 2011? I need to communicate. I want to know the heart of the person I love. I can’t read minds– he has to tell me. How am I EVER going to connect and entwine my soul with somebody else’s when I’m texting “imu”?

I’ve always wished for a love so intense and so ablaze with passion it will wear time down. I feel acutely tragic that it had to take me stumbling upon excerpts of the handwritten love letters between 2 people 80 years ago to realize this: There can never be passion in “ilu”.

I want the 1930′s deal. Will trade in my Apples and Berries for handwritten love letters. I think I will go write one now. With a real pen. I hope I make it past 140 characters.