…okay, actually the postcard doesn’t ring at all, but it does take about two weeks to arrive. I’ve always loved old cards, everything from postcards, to valentine’s, to birthday greetings. When I was young, I would play with the saved cards my mom and dad received from their school days. There was something remarkable about the artwork, the paper, maybe even the sentiment. Every so often I will stock up on old postcards to use as writing prompts, or just to put up in my space. I love the quality of the old sepia tones, the intriguing sentiments on the back. Today as I was reading about the Lost Art of Postcard Writing I was remembering the Robert Olen Butler book Had a Good Time:Stories From American Postcards and how fascinating the stories became when fully explored.
A friend of mine, Annette Bower, another Regina author, understands the thrill of the postcard, and although she might not always send me one in the mail, she’ll often give me one out-of-the blue, with a picture on it that relates to something I’m doing or writing. Another writer friend Kris Brandhagen sent numerous postcards while in Europe all addressed to the house on the corner of the street and avenue but no house number, and I received all of the postcards, albeit very late. One card spawned a poem, which in turn spawned a manuscript, which in turn… .
Perhaps the internet is our postal service and our blogs/social media work like the postcards now. Instant pictures, instant text. But although I have the tactile sense by writing my blog, it’s not nearly as exciting as getting a postcard in the mail. I still love going to the paper store, touching all of the different papers, notebooks, and cards (I often wonder if I’ll get tossed out of a store for touching the paper in inappropriate ways (is that possible?)). I still buy paper and cards and mail them every now and then. I don’t think writing postcards or any card is a lost art, but appreciating the time and slowness and the excitement of the physical object is lost in a world of instant media.
Lost: unable to be found.
Found: having been discovered.
Postcards: a card for sending a message by mail without an envelope.
Consider this your message. In turning the post over, perhaps you’ll see the picture.